Italy finally allows women and children to get off the rescue ship
Italy on Thursday granted permission for some of the migrants to get off the rescue ship on Wednesday, according to a statement from the country's Interior Ministry.
EIGHT MIGRANTS ARE PREGNANT
Mare Jonio vessel, belonging to Mediterranea Saving Humans, had rescued around 100 irregular migrants on Wednesday.
The entry of the vessel to Italian territorial waters was banned on Wednesday with a decree signed by three ministers -- including Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini. However, the country on Thursday allowed women, children and sick people to disembark the rescue ship. The vessel is carrying 22 children and 26 women, of whom eight are pregnant.
Earlier, Mediterranea Saving Humans said in a statement that the vessel kept waiting 13 nautical miles south of Italy's Lampedusa island.
According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), 578 migrants have drowned in the triangle between Libya, Malta and Italy in the Mediterranean since the beginning of the year until Aug. 15.
Last year, more than 2,240 people either died or went missing at sea while attempting to reach Europe via the Mediterranean, according to the UN Refugee Agency.