A TOTAL of 77 migrants have been found off the shores of the Balearic Islands.

In the early hours of this morning, police intercepted five boats across the region.

Firstly at approximately 2am, three vessels were detected 10 miles east of Cabrera in Mallorca.

The Guardia Civil and Maritime Rescue quickly mobilised their boats, taking a total of 40 migrants to the Port of Palma.

A further 10 migrants were found on the shores.

Just an hour later, a dinghy was sighted on the high seas approximately 50 miles south of Portocolom.

Some 11 men were rescued and also taken to Palma.

Meanwhile in Ibiza, the Guardia Civil intercepted 16 migrants on the usually popular holiday spot of Playa d’en Bossa.

They have now been taken to a government residence in the island’s capital.

All of the Balearic arrivals will now undergo PCR testing to detect the presence of coronavirus, and depending on the result, their case will be managed in two different ways. 

Those that are COVID-19 negative will likely be transferred to the mainland, dependant on border closures, and be put in the care of an NGO.

Those that test positive will be isolated at a government residence until a negative result is produced.

It comes as at least 140 migrants died after a boat travelling to the Canary Islands from Senegal caught fire.

According to local leaders, the boat caught fire among the vessel’s fuel drums mere hours after setting sail and sank near Saint-Louis on the north-west coast of Senegal. 

The boat was carrying 200 people, but only 59 of the migrants were rescued alive after intervention from nearby fishermen and official boats from Senegal and Spain. 

At least 20 bodies have been located so far.

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