A woman gave birth to her child while trying to cross the Mediterranean at night on a barge with forty other people. When the Italian coast guard came to the rescue, they found the newborn dead and his mother in need of medical assistance.
The tragedy occurred in the vicinity of the Italian island of Lampedusa, the closest to Africa, plunged into chaos this week after the arrival of more than 10,000 migrants in just three days, of which 2,500 people still remain waiting to be transferred.
The baby's body was placed in a small coffin and immediately taken to the Lampedusa cemetery, the rescue teams said, while the mother, who was assisted by the rest of the passengers on the barge as soon as she began to feel contractions, was taken to a medical center.
The Italian Red Cross, which manages the first reception center on the island, has assured that its volunteers "continue to incessantly guarantee the basic needs" of migrants, despite the fact that its facilities have a capacity for 400.
In the last few hours the arrivals have been contained and tonight about 120 people have arrived in Lampedusa, where the majority are identified and later transferred to other ports in Italy.
Although these trips are not without danger, since on Friday a bus carrying migrants arriving in Rome from Lampedusa collided with a truck, causing the death of two drivers and 25 injuries.
The Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, has asked the president of the European Commission in writing to go to the island, in a new attempt to involve the European authorities in the response to migratory pressure.
"I announce that I have written to the President of the European Commission to ask her to come with me to Lampedusa to personally understand the seriousness of the situation we face," said the leader of the Italian Executive in a video released late on Friday. .
For its part, the Italian Executive is preparing a package of measures to react to the wave of arrivals and deter migrants who try to reach Italian territory illegally.
"We will propose a modification of the period of confinement in detention centers for the repatriation of those who enter Italy illegally, a limit that will be raised to the maximum allowed by European legislation, that is, 18 months," Meloni announced on a matter that will be debated by Monday in a council of ministers.
The Italian authorities have also confirmed that 32 migrants, mostly Tunisians, who were accused of organizing and managing the illegal entry into the national territory of foreign citizens, have been "detained or expelled" in the port of Salerno.
With the numbers constantly evolving, so far this year 127,207 immigrants have landed in Italy, almost double the 66,237 of the same period in 2022 and triple that of 2021 (42,750), according to data from the Ministry of the Interior updated to September 15.