Thousands of migrants are attempting to traverse the Alps to get out of Italy to their preferred destinations of Germany and other Northern European countries.
Volunteers working with migrants in the region say that they are finding more and more migrants with injuries sustained from extremely cold temperatures. They say that thousands of migrants are attempting to cross the Alps and that many end up in hospital, Swedish broadcaster Sveriges Radio reports.
Joel Pruvot, a male nurse who works with a group that helps migrants at the Briancon ski resort near the French border with Italy, said that he sees many migrants who need medical attention after trying to cross the mountains.
“We regularly see people who have frozen their feet, but luckily we usually get the feeling back, only if we can intervene quickly,” Pruvot said and added: “But many must also be taken to a hospital to get medicine that boosts blood circulation.”
According to the volunteers, around half of the migrants they see are boys in their teens.
‘10,000 Homeless Migrants’ in Italy as Election Nears
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In Canada, many migrants attempting to cross the border into Manitoba illegally have also become injured due to the cold temperatures. Some, like 36-year-old West African Kangni Kouevi, have suffered serious frostbite crossing into the country illegally.
Italy, which is currently home to hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants, could see a fresh influx this year as many fear the migrant crisis, which largely declined last summer, may be picking up again. Reports have revealed that thousands of migrants have arrived in Italy since the beginning of the year, up considerably from the past several months.
Italy also faces an election next month and both leaders of the leading centre-right coalition, former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and populist Lega leader Matteo Salvini, have promised to crack down on illegal immigrants.
The centre-right coalition leads in all of the current polls.