Malta refused to offer assistance to a merchant ship, a Filipino sailor whose exhibited symptoms similar to those of Ebola in order to protect the country from the epidemic, as explained by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.
The Filipino patient, however, was received by the authorities of Italy, as reported by the port authorities Potsalo in southern Sicily. The doctors made a preliminary diagnosis based only on the symptoms they reported, lean more to the likelihood of suffering from hepatitis.
The ship MV Western Copenhagen, register Hong Kong, had departed from Guinea in Ukraine. Late Wednesday evening, the captain asked the port authorities of Malta and asked for help saying that a Filipino seafarer showed symptoms similar to Ebola. But Valletta chose to prohibit the ship closer to the shore and sent a warship to monitor to ensure that it will not enter the territorial waters.
"I do not have much information. We have no way to know if the master exaggerate or underestimate the situation. Do not even know if there are other suspected cases, "explained Muscat press conference.
Assuming that the decision is "morally and legally correct" the Maltese prime minister said that even if international law obliges a country to provide assistance, there are exceptions when compromising safety of this country. "I do not know the scope of the situation. It could have been a false alarm. But it will not jeopardize the health system, "he added.
According to Muscat boat was located 83 nautical miles from Malta and just 40 miles from Sicily when asked for help.
The site Marinetraffic.com which tracks commercial ships reported that the MV Western Copenhagen he turned and headed to Sicily, where the patient was transferred to naval hospital in Potsalo while the ship continued on its way.