Despite the continuing coronavirus outbreak, Italy has seen a surge in migrants at its northern border and on the island of Lampedusa, which is becoming overwhelmed, authorities say.
Lampedusa saw at least 200 migrants arrive in two days, with three landings taking place in the span of just a few hours between Monday night and Tuesday morning.
The 200 migrants join another 100 or so that have been staying on the Favaloro pier for the past two days, La Repubblica reports.
The 183 migrants picked up by the German-based migrant transport NGO Sea-Eye and the Spain-based NGO Salvamento Marítimo Humanitario were also released from their quarantine this week. The migrants will be redistributed to other European Union countries in the coming weeks.
Migrants Given Contacts of Italian Lawyers Before They Even Cross Mediterranean https://t.co/kKNxuvW4HP
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 23, 2020
Another 118 migrants are still under quarantine just miles off Lampedusa, while 60 migrants were also recently picked up in the search and rescue zone of Malta.
The Italian coastguard detained the Sea-Eye’s ship, the Alan Kurdi, this week in Palermo. They said there were “several irregularities of a technical and operational nature such as to compromise not only the safety of the crews but also of the people who have been and who could be recovered on board”.
Italy’s northern land border with Slovenia has also seen migrants cross into the country. Edoardo Alessio, Provincial Secretary-General of the Italian State Police, claimed Slovenia does not stop migrants from heading across the border.
“Slovenia does not stop them, does not identify them, and lets them pass with impunity,” Mr Alessio said and added: “The rise of migrants from the Slovenian Karst area to Trieste continues undeterred.”
“Despite the lockdown, which forces citizens to stay at home and closed the borders, trafficking in human beings has continued for almost the two months of the lockdown,” he added.
Alessio went on to add that ahead of the summer months, the Italian government should reinforce the border in case of a surge of migrants occurs along the Balkan route. In the past ten days, 250 illegal immigrants have arrived in Italy along the Slovenian border area.
Italy: Migrants in Turin Ignore Coronavirus Lockdown Rules https://t.co/ZxRT9sc1Uh
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 3, 2020