24 hours have passed and the assignment of the port has not yet arrived. The ship, which was located about 16 miles south of Sicily’s southeast coast, in international waters, – received a visit from a doctor (who spoke with migrants) and a cultural mediator on board. If the state of emergency declared by the captain is certified, it will be immediately disembarked.
Behind the delay with which the Italian authorities have handled the response to the request for a port for Ocean Viking there is the difficulty of safely managing the landing of such a large number of people among whom there could be positives at Covid, such as occurred in the last two landings from Sea Watch and from the Ionian Sea and also in some autonomous landings in Sardinia.
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In Sicily, where some of the positives are hosted on the Moby Zaza ship but others have been isolated in a ground-based reception center near Noto, there is great tension. The Governor Musumeci in recent days has asked the Interior Ministry to be able to have other ships available for quarantine to prevent the arriving migrants from being brought ashore and taken to inadequate structures with the risk of leaving and the fear of contagion between the population but also for the image of the island struggling with a slow restart of the tourist season. All requests that the Ministry of the Interior must take into consideration now also for the management of the landing of Ocean Viking.
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And now 52 other people are aboard a merchant ship, the Talia, which yesterday afternoon responded to the call for help re-launched by the Alarm Phone switchboard for a boat in difficulty for several hours in the Maltese Sar area and that nobody was rescuing. The merchant yesterday evening made it known that he had taken the migrants on board and now of course he is asking for directions to a port of landing