Tensions are rising aboard the Italian ship Azzurra used to quarantine migrants for cases of coronavirus, as reports of protests and small revolts on the vessel have emerged.
The situation on the ship has become much more tense in recent days as more migrants have arrived, many testing positive for the Wuhan virus.
The ship took over from the Moby Zaza ferry as a quarantine vessel earlier this month. 350 migrants were transferred to the vessel from Lampedusa, 12 of which have tested positive for the virus, Il Giornale reports.
As the vessel was sailing from Lampedusa to Trapani, where it will remain off the coast of Sicily, a group of Tunisian migrants protested and held a small revolt, allegedly suspicious they were being taken back to a port in Tunisia.
According to Il Giornale, the incident is just the latest of a number of small revolts that took place aboard the Moby Zaza as it was being used to quarantine migrants.
Italian Island Overwhelmed as Migrant Boats Arrive Every Hour on Average https://t.co/qXNMhvBz4E
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 27, 2020
The migrants aboard the Azzurra are said to be mostly from Tunisia, with a small number of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa. While most are adult males, there are also some families aboard and ten unaccompanied youths.
The quarantine of the migrants aboard the vessels, which began in May, is estimated to be costing around 4,000 euros per migrant per month.
The programme has been criticised by members of Matteo Salvini’s League (Lega) party, such as Alessandro Pagano, who decried the costs as many Italians were struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite the pandemic and the various lockdown measures put in place by the Italian government, the country has seen a surge in new migrant arrivals in the last several weeks, to the point that many areas, such as Lampedusa, are completely full.
Estimated 11,000 Migrants Arrived in Italy in a Single Week https://t.co/h083n27Lz3
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 1, 2020