January 21, 2022

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Covid-19 Spreads Again in Antarctica

Antartica

The Covid-19 outbreak is back in Antarctica. This time, the case of the corona virus is at a Belgian scientific research station.

Launching the BBC, Sunday (2/1/2021), at least 16 of the 25 workers at the research station called the Princess Elisabeth Pole Station have contracted Covid-19 since December 14. The workers there have been vaccinated with the full dose. So the Covid-19 situation there is not too stressful.

Illustration of a research station on the continent of Antarctica. Every summer, thousands of scientists from different countries gather to conduct research in many fields of science. (WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/Gary Bembridge)

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“The situation is not dramatic,” Joseph Cheek, a project manager for the International Polar Foundation, told the BBC. “While it is inconvenient to have to quarantine certain staff members who contracted the virus, it did not significantly affect our work at the station as a whole,”

Cheek said. Get information, inspiration and insight in your email. Register email Cheek said station occupants were offered the opportunity to leave the station on a scheduled flight on January 12. “However, they all expressed their desire to stay and continue their work,” Cheek said.

Princess Elisabeth Pole Station reported its first case of Covid-19 on December 14. The case came from a team that had arrived seven days earlier. Those who tested positive were then quarantined. However, the corona virus is still circulating. There are two emergency doctors at the station and new arrivals at the outpost have been suspended until there are zero Covid-19 cases there.

Princess Elisabeth Pole Station is operated by the International Polar Foundation and started operations in 2009. This is not the first time a research station in Antarctica has been affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Last year, several Chilean military personnel at the Bernardo O’Higgins research station were infected with Covid-19 after sailors on a supply ship tested positive for the virus.