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Migrants: 1,500 arrivals in single day, Emergency in Sicily

'Central Med migration route being used again', says NGO

30 March, 18:30

    (ANSAmed) - ROME, MARCH 30 - The humanitarian NGO Emergency is providing healthcare assistance to approximately 800 migrants that have disembarked in the Sicilian town of Augusta from the Italian Navy's 'Aliseo' vessel. Over 1,500 migrants have arrived in the past 24 hours. ''The numbers seen in these days confirm that there has been a significant resumption of the central Mediterranean migration route,'' the NGO's cultural mediator Khalid told ANSA. He said that he had been especially touched by the story of the numerous families that disembarked on Tuesday in Pozzallo.

    One young couple from Gambia had left on a dinghy towards Italy after spending six months in Libya. ''When they told me that their daughter was named Aida,'' the man said, ''I did not know whether to be more surprised by the name - taken from the (Italian, Ed.) opera - or by the fact that at only two years old, Aida had already spent a month in Libyan jails and crossed the Strait of Sicily in a dinghy.'' Hundreds of other people from Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, Gambia, Eritrea and Ethiopia had travelled alongside the couple to Italy. Some 730 in total, including young men, women and children rescued in several different operations only a few miles from the Libyan coasts and taken onto the Siem Pilot, a Norwegian-flagged ship taking part in the Frontex mission. Emergency was in Pozzallo on Tuesday with a team that included a general physician, a nurse and two cultural mediators. No specific medical problems were recorded, but nine pregnant women were transferred for check-ups to local healthcare facilities. Emergency has been working in Sicily since 2015 with two mobile clinic to provide healthcare assistance to migrants when they land on the island. (ANSAmed).

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