15-year-old, Abou died in a hospital this week, after being evacuated from an Italian quarantine ship used to isolate refugees amidst the coronavirus.
Italian officials are investigating the death after several witnesses reported Abou, who travelled from the Ivory Coast, as very ill, dehydrated, malnourished and with evident signs of torture on his body. However, he wasn’t transferred to a hospital until 30 September where he tested negative for Covid-19 and fell into a coma.
In April, the Italian government mandated the use of ferries to hold rescued refugees under quarantine for 14 days before transferring them into the country. These boats carry hundreds of people each and have been criticized as harmful to the physical and mental health of people rescued at sea, as well as lacking adequate medical equipment.
An Italian prosecutor stated that preliminary investigations revealed, “the presence of only one physician aboard the ferry, which was carrying over 600 migrants.”
Mario Affronti, a physician said;
“These vessels aren’t only useless but they can also become very dangerous for the health of migrants.” He added, “Abou was a minor. And minors, according to national and international laws, should not be on those ships. It is unacceptable that a 15-year-old boy died because of anti-Covid measures.”
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