Coronavirus Pandemic Updates: A Belgian scientific research outpost in Antarctica is suffering from an outbreak of Covid-19 despite being fully vaccinated and located in one of the world’s most remote locations. Since December 14, at least 16 of the 25 workers at the Princess Elisabeth Polar Station had contracted the sickness. Officials claim that the cases have thus far been modest. “The situation isn’t extreme,” says Joseph Cheek, a project manager at the International Polar Foundation. “On January 12th, all station residents were given the choice of taking a scheduled flight out. He went on to say, “However, they have all expressed a wish to remain and continue working.”
The Belgian newspaper Le Soir was the first to report on the outbreak. The outbreak was initially reported in the Belgian newspaper Le Soir. A crew that had arrived seven days earlier obtained the first positive test on December 14th. Despite being isolated from others who had tested positive, the disease spread. All staff must be vaccinated and tested for the virus upon arrival at the station. New arrivals have been halted at the outpost until the infection has subsided, and the station is staffed by two emergency doctors.
Due to its remoteness and small population, Antarctica was the last continent to have confirmed cases of COVID-19, and one of the last places in the globe to be directly affected by the epidemic. The first instances of COVID-19 were reported in December 2020, more than a year after the virus was discovered in China. At least 36 people have been identified as being ill. Even before the first cases on the continent were discovered, human activities in Antarctica were influenced indirectly.
COVID-19 testing and isolation are required for visitors to Antarctica research stations. Respirators and coronavirus testing are accessible at Antarctic research stations in Australia, Norway, and Germany; whether they are available at research stations in the United States and the United Kingdom is unknown. The British Antarctic Survey took precautionary measures. The Argentine Antarctica region had taken safeguards at its six permanent stations prior to the introduction of COVID-19 to prevent the virus’s spread.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on travel impeded British Antarctic Survey staff’ evacuation from the continent. As of 14 April 2020, bases in Antarctica have only skeleton crews, visitation has been curtailed, and scientific study has been hampered. Several seminars on the issue of Antarctica that were set for mid-2020 were canceled due to the pandemic.
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