Italy is preparing to welcome 180 migrants from Ocean Viking

The 180 migrants rescued by the humanitarian vessel Ocean Viking in the Mediterranean were tested on Sunday at Covid-19 before being quarantined on a vessel in Sicily. On Friday, the boat declared itself in a “state of emergency” due to fighting and suicide attempts on board.

It is a wave of hope for the humanitarian vessel Ocean Viking, after the storm in recent days. A medical team boarded to perform tests on the 180 rescued migrants. Sent by the authorities to the Sicilian port of Pozzallo, “she noted the absence of specific health problems and also reported that the tensions recorded on the boat (from NGO SOS Mediterranean) are alleviated,” a source told the Italian Interior Ministry on Saturday, July 4.

The migrants must then be transferred to a quarantine vessel currently located in Porto Empedocle, on the southern coast of Sicily. “The situation is being closely monitored with a view to relocating migrants, scheduled for Monday, July 6, at Moby Zaza,” according to the same source.

Battles, suicide attempts, physical threats to the crew: the tension had become so much on board that the humanitarian vessel declared itself on Friday in “emergency”, a first. Since Thursday, several fights have erupted, mainly between ethnic groups, and six suicide attempts have been registered.

>> To read on InfoMigrants: “Ocean Viking: two migrants jump into the water in despair”

The 180 migrants, including Pakistanis, North Africans, Eritreans and Nigerians, were rescued by the SOS Mediterranean ship during four separate operations, June 25 and 30. Among them, 25 are minors.

It has been a week since the ship made its first request to assign a port to board these people, but after several inquiries to the Italian and Maltese authorities, one of the rescue operations was carried out on water dependent on these two countries, while the other three was in Malta – Ocean Viking had so far only received negative responses from the two countries.

With AFP