More than 90 migrants on a rubber boat as they are rescued by Sea Watch, 30 km off the coast of Libya; handout photo issued June 19, 2020 | Photo: EPA/LAILA SIEBER /SEA-WATCH
More than 90 migrants on a rubber boat as they are rescued by Sea Watch, 30 km off the coast of Libya; handout photo issued June 19, 2020 | Photo: EPA/LAILA SIEBER /SEA-WATCH

A total of 28 rescued migrants have tested positive for the coronavirus on the Moby Zazà quarantine ship, which is off the Sicilian port of Porto Empedocle. They are among a group of 211 migrants who were rescued by the German charity Sea-Watch last week.

The COVID-19-positive migrants were among people rescued in international waters by the NGO Sea-Watch and then transferred to the Moby Zazà ship. 

Swabs were conducted on 209 asylum seekers on the ship on Tuesday. 

Late on Tuesday, it emerged that one of the migrants who boarded the Sea Watch vessel had been taken to Caltanissetta's Sant'Elia hospital. The migrant was initially suspected to have tuberculosis, but the result of a swab subsequently showed otherwise.

Sicily governor, 'we were right about quarantine'

The govenor of Sicily, Nello Musumeci, responded to the positive tests in a Facebook post: "Twenty-eight positive migrants are on the ship anchored in Porto Empedocle, a solution [the quarantine, ed. note] that we willfully demanded from the central government on April 12 to avoid outbreaks developing on the island, without being able to contain and control them."

"Now that request of ours is easier to understand. And those who ranted and raved, accusing us of racism, will now realize we were right. In the coming hours, health measures will be taken that are important for the principle of precaution. I hope that no one considers not involving the region in the choices that will have to be made," he said.

 

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