At least 47 migrants have been left stranded in Maltese territorial waters after the government formally declared that it will no longer accept any more arrivals during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The boat is drifting as the fuel is out. After a second night at sea, the people are without food and water and ask for immediate help, they have one pregnant woman with her daughter on board. The people fled #Libya two days ago and need to be rescued now!” Alarm Phone wrote.
Malta formally declared its ports unsafe on 9th April. That same evening, the AFM rescued least 66 migrants but the Maltese government warned this would be the last time during the current pandemic.
“Over the months and years, Malta was under disproportionate pressure in terms of migrant arrivals and had barely received any tangible help, yet it still saved thousands of lives.”
“Now that the Superintendent of Public Health had declared a public health emergency, the government has decided that any further disembarkations of irregular migrants, who themselves could be infected by the virus, will seriously prejudice all the work that has been done to combat the spread,” the government had said in a statement.
Meanwhile, there are also some issues with the Hal Far Open, where eight residents have contracted the virus. Residents who spoke to Lovin Malta have raised the alarm that quarantine measures are merely protecting the public rather than addressing the growing outbreak in the centre.
Videos and photos show how large groups of residents in the open centre are still sharing communal bathrooms, dormitories, and public spaces, among other things.
A disinfection and fumigation exercise in the centre has finally commenced.
The boat is drifting as the fuel is out. After a second night at sea the people are without food and water and ask for immediate help, they have one pregnant woman with her daughter on board. The people fled #Libya two days ago and need to be rescued now!#LeaveNoOneBehind
— Alarm Phone (@alarm_phone) April 11, 2020