The 180 migrants and refugees who were rescued from the Ocean Viking ship in the central Mediterranean were evacuated shortly before midnight to a ferry waiting for their quarantine outside the Sicilian city of Porto Empedocle, thus uncovering possible cases of COVID -19.
The NGO SOS Mediterranée, which is responsible for the “Ocean Viking”, has confirmed on Twitter the transfer of these migrants, who were rescued in four different operations between June 25 and 30. The organization had criticized that neither Italy nor Malta responded to their landing requests.
Finally, Italy did so, not by landing directly, but by quarantining a ferry that has been used on other previous arrivals. In at least two of the last migrant landings, there have been cases of COVID-19 that have prompted local authorities to request hygiene guarantees.
According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), at least 377 migrants and refugees died trying to cross the Mediterranean in 2020, including 219 in the central zone.