180 migrants rescued at sea to be quarantined on Italian cruiseferry off Sicily

   April 20, 2020 ,   Accidents

Some 180 migrants rescued at sea will be quarantined on an Italian cruiseferry off the Sicily Island's coast, the Italian Coastguard announced on Sunday, April 19.

Italy refused to take in saved migrants because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, saying the outbreak, which has already killed more than 23,000 people in the country, meant it could no longer be considered "a port of safety."

34 people pulled to safety by Spanish NGO rescue ship Aita Mari were transferred on Sunday to Tirrenia Raffaele Rubattino ferry which is currently anchored near Port Palermo and staffed by 22 Red Cross volunteers.

Tirrenia Raffaele Rubattino ferry

They'll join 146 migrants transferred to the ferry on Friday, April 17, from the Alan Kurdi rescue ship, run by the German NGO Sea Eye. 

The migrants will all be tested for the Coronavirus and redistributed among EU countries once the 2-week isolation period is up, Italian media reports say.

The 180-metre Tirrenia ferry can carry 1,471 guests and has a medical centre, restaurant, bars, kids' play area, and 293 staterooms. It was not revealed whether the migrants would be accommodated in individual staterooms.

For other Tirrenia Raffaele Rubattino ferry accidents and incidents see at the ship's CruiseMinus page.

For Coronavirus updates on cruise ship quarantines (infected passengers and crew) and top-pandemic countries (COVID-19 cases and deaths, daily updated statistics) see at CruiseMapper's Norovirus page.