Italian Army personnel during Covid19 vaccination of migrants landing on the island of Lampedusa | Photo: ANSA/Angelo Carconi
Italian Army personnel during Covid19 vaccination of migrants landing on the island of Lampedusa | Photo: ANSA/Angelo Carconi

Italy has begun vaccinating all migrants landing on the island of Lampedusa, where dozens of Tunisians and other migrants have been arriving daily. Visiting US diplomats praised the coordination and the management of the site.

Two mini-hubs have been set up on the Italian island of Lampedusa to vaccinate irregular migrants as soon as they arrive in boats on its coast. The operation began over the weekend following a decision by Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese to have all migrants landing on Italian coasts vaccinated.

Army doctors staff hubs, diplomats visit

The two hubs are staffed by healthcare teams with medical officers and non-commissioned nurse officers from the army, flanked by logistics and administrative personnel. The two teams had already been working on Sicily but have now been transferred to Lampedusa.

The vaccination campaign began while representatives of the US embassy in Rome and the US consulate in Naples were on the island. They met with the head of the department for civil liberties and immigration, Prefect Michele Di Bari. After visiting the Imbriacola hotspot and a tent equipped by the army for the vaccination of the migrants, the diplomats praised the management and coordination with the emergency healthcare system being implemented by the interior ministry and the prefect's office.

Dozens of Tunisians land on island

Meanwhile, migrant landings have continued on Lampedusa. Between Monday and Tuesday, a total of 96 people arrived in eight boats. The latest boat to land was carrying 12 Tunisian nationals and was intercepted six miles off the coast. Prior to that, four had been rescued by the port authorities and another 17 arrived at the Favarolo wharf.

At the Imbriacola hotspot there are currently over 400 migrants. Around 35 arrived overnight on Monday on three vessels. Among them were six migrants who were discovered on Lampione island and 12 who landed on their own at the Madonnina wharf. Two other boats also arrived, one carrying 16 Tunisian nationals including a child, and the other with 12 people on board.

 

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