MSF medical teams have joined the fight against COVID-19 as the new coronavirus disease spreads to more than 190 countries. Project coordinator Chiara shares her experience working alongside Italian doctors and nurses on the frontline of the pandemic in northern Italy.
"They must know that many have not survived the journey they are about to take. We will never really know just how many lives were lost in this way. They must feel an excruciating level of fear, putting their lives and their families’ lives at risk. I’m just so sorry the world is putting these people through this."
MSF coordinate missions with the Italian coastguard who alert them to boats where medical assistance is needed. On this occasion MSF find a wooden fishing boat with 369 people on board, without life jackets and all crammed together in a terribly small space. People are brough onto the Phoenix medically checked and given a rescue kit with the where with all to keep them warm and hydrated.
Erna Rijnierse, an MSF doctor aboard our project with Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) rescue mission, has been recording her diary for the BBC Today programme. This is the second instalment from the Phoenix.