Epuisés but relieved to have finally arrived in Europe: after crossing eventful from the north african coast, 180 migrants rescued in the Mediterranean by ship humanitarian Ocean Viking started on Monday evening to land in Sicily, to be placed in quarantine.
In single file, surgical face mask on the face and carrying their meager belongings in a backpack that had been given on arrival on the Ocean Viking, the migrants, mostly Bangladeshi, Pakistani, North African or Eritrean nationals who had fled Libya, have started to leave the boat ambulance to 23: 40 hours, local time.
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The migrants tested negative for the coronavirus on Sunday by a team of Italian medical were the first to be evacuated. At the end of nine days of blockade by sea, the maritime authorities that the Italian had authorized Sunday, the ship of the NGO based in Marseille, SOS Mediterranean, on which is located a journalist of the Agence France-Presse, at berth in the port of the sicilian Porto Empedocle.
Italy is concerned
Since the morning, the migrants of the Ocean Viking were waiting for the landing in Sicily watching the coast from the deck of the boat. "I am very happy that we have finally found a safe place, for a life in security," explained Mohammad Irshad, a Pakistani happy to be able to celebrate soon its 23rd anniversary in Italy. "It has been very difficult in Libya and I can not even explain the joy that we feel today, it's just incredible."
The queue these last few days to be assigned to a port of landing had been the subject of strong tensions, including physical threats towards the team of SOS Mediterranean from a small group of North Africans who had pushed the NGOS to declare on Friday a state of emergency for the first time in its history. "The unnecessary delay of this landing has put lives in danger", explained SOS Mediterranean, deploring in particular the lack of "solidarity" in europe.
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The recovery of the activity of the Ocean Viking was made in a context of strong recovery of the crossings of the central Mediterranean. And Italy is afraid to see the largest contingent of ships of humanitarian aid.
The mayor of Porto Empedocle has called for Monday in front of reporters massed on the port sending the army to "protect the citizens", lamenting the arrival of migrants, although the Sicily, the poorest province in the extreme south of Italy, has suffered greatly in the containment. "The image given to the Italian and international) was negative with the many cases of coronavirus. Here [in Sicily], one has made considerable efforts up to ruin economically to avoid contamination. There is not here. My commune sees its image tarnished" by the time she is counting on the recovery of the tourist season to restart his business, " added Ida Carmina.Updated Date: 06 July 2020, 21:33