The 180 survivors of the “Ocean Viking” soon transferred to an Italian ship

After a week of waiting at sea, people rescued on the deck of the "Ocean Viking" meet an Italian doctor, July 4, 2020 AFP Photo / Shahzad Abdul

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After a week of waiting for an answer from Malta or Italy to disembark rescued migrants in the Mediterranean, the Ocean Viking got the green light from Rome to tranship the survivors on an Italian quarantine ship anchored in Porto Empedocle in Sicily.


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With our correspondent in Rome, Anne Le Nir

A medical team must carry out all day Sunday tests for coronavirus on the 180 migrants, including 25 minors, aboard the Ocean Viking chartered by the NGO SOS Mediterranean. The latter of North African, Pakistani, Eritrean and Nigerian origin were rescued off Libya between June 25 and 30.

It is only this Monday, July 6, that they will be transhipped on the Italian ship Moby Zaza made available for isolation for fourteen days. This ship, in the harbor of Porto Empedocle, in the province of Agrigento in Sicily, was previously used for the 200 migrants recovered by the Sea-Watch .

Psychological distress

So this is the solution found, belatedly, by the Italian Ministry of the Interior. Indeed, for several days the situation had been tense on board the Ocean Viking . To the point of pushing him to declare himself in a state of emergency, after physical threats against the crew and six suicide attempts.

"How long is it going to take?", Emmanuel, survivor on #OceanViking, asked today.

"Most of us are not used to the sea. I couldn't sleep last night because of the waves. I see no signs of a solution. The doctor yesterday came to make a statement but didn't give us a solution."

  SOS MEDITERRANEE (@SOSMedIntl) July 5, 2020

The return of NGOs to the sea does not fail to raise controversies in Italy. The title of the right-wing daily Il Giornale bears witness to this  : “  The arrival of illegal immigrants with the virus, a drama for Italy. "

►Read also: Italy : migrants in psychological distress on board the Ocean Viking

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  • Italy
  • Immigration
  • Coronavirus
  • International Migration

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