When an Italian navy boat brought 700 migrants to the port of Pozzallo on Wednesday, medics had to carry some migrants off on stretchers.
Pozallo Port Doctor, Angelo Gugliotta says some of those rescued off the coast of Libya were severely malnourished.
He says others had physical injuries, including gunshot wounds.
“In regards to the situation in general when it comes to migration internationally, it is not my job to comment, but I am a medic and I have taken the Hippocratic Oath to respond in a time of need in the role of a medic, and this is a situation that has become ever more dramatic over the years, with incredibly high numbers of people arriving. The last arrival we assisted to was on Sunday and already, just three days later we have 700 more arriving today and I am certain we have more people arriving before next Sunday.”
He says one boy born on a migrant boat, died from respiratory problems soon after he and his mother were rescued.
“For the first time I have had to ask the emergency services to intervene because we had a “code red” patient already at the time of arrival. The medical needs are the same as usual, gunshot wounds, hypothermia, cases of asthenia, dehydration and so on.”
Rescue workers have also recovered five bodies off the Libyan coast on.
Rescue Worker, Hossam Al-Tabouny says the makeshift rubber dingy used for their journey washed up damaged on rocks.
But he says the other four people believed to be on board have not been found.
“Of course the recovery of bodies from Tajura is ongoing. Today’s search recovered five bodies but because of limited time there still remain other bodies around but they will be removed in the coming days to clean up our shores”
Meanwhile, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi says migration needs to be seen as an opportunity.
Speaking at an international conference on migration in Berlin, Mr Grandi urged Germany and other countries to do more to save refugee lives at sea
“Regardless of status, refugee or migrant, saving lives including through rescue at sea and protecting them from these threats are compelling humanitarian imperatives. We must also work to reduce those risks in the first place. Regular pathways must urgently and substantially be expanded to prevent migrants and refugees from having to resort to dangerous and exploitative mechanisms.”
The Berlin conference also heard the German Foreign Minister, Sigmar Gabriel suggest Germany and other nations need to change the way they think about migration policy, on an international scale and on a societal level.
European vessels are pulling hundreds of migrants from surrounding seas daily, often carrying those fleeing war, persecution or poverty.