Screening has begun for migrants who arrived in Malta after nearly a week at sea to determine whether they are eligible for asylum and relocation to one of eight European Union nations.
The screening process for the 234 migrants, including five children, began on Thursday morning, after a humanitarian rescue vessel was finally allowed to dock in the Maltese capital Valletta.
The government said three babies and three adults are being treated at the national government hospital.
He said those deemed economic migrants will be sent back to their countries of origin.
Maltese officials seized the ship, citing irregularities in the rescue effort, and placed the captain under investigation.