180 migrants in the Mediterranean Sea could offload at safe in Italy

The Ocean Viking ship in the Mediterranean Sea The Ocean Viking ship in the Mediterranean Sea Flavio Gasperini (SOS MEDITERRANEE)

05 July 2020

The survivors fleeing Libya in the Ocean Viking ship could finally be transferred to Sicily after one week of distress

180 migrants were saved in four different rescues on June 25 and 30, but since then, they have been kept in the Ocean Viking ship operated by the French Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) SOS Mediterranée waiting for the Italian or Maltese permission to offload. This week, the survivors have experienced severe psychological distress without the possibility to communicate with their families nor the hope to arrive in a safe place.

Within the passengers of different origins, there are 25 minors and two women, one of whom is pregnant. In the past days, there has been a tense atmosphere and some of the migrants have also attempted suicide. After the declaration of a state of emergency, Italy has sent medical personnel in order to proceed with COVID-19 tests on migrants before allowing their transfer to a quarantine vessel Moby Zazà in Porto Empedocle, south of Sicily.

There seems to be no sign of particular health problems within the passengers, and the migrants have their temperature checked twice a day. NGO workers have been challenged by the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic due to all the precautions and the safety policy which limit their interactions with the migrants, but they are trying to maintain the relationship with them “as humane as possible”, one of them said. The transfer to the Moby Zazà should take place on July 06.


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Author: Carla Pintor

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