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Covid-19: In Antarctica, the isolated Belgian base is not immune to an explosion of cases

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International Polar Foundation

The Belgian Princess Elisabeth Polar station in Antarctica also saw an explosion of Covid-19 cases at the end of December 2021.

International – Covid-19 creeps in even in the most unexpected places. Since mid-December, Princess Elizabeth Polar Station Belgian located in South Pole It also saw an explosion of issues, though health measures Reveal strict procedures respected by scientists Soirmag December 28 last.

Access virus On this basis, where there are currently 33 people, dating back to December 14, when a member who arrived a week ago tested positive. He was placed in solitary confinement and tests were carried out on the other travelers: two of them also tested positive for Covid-19.

Google Maps screenshot

Google Maps screenshot of the Belgian Princess Elisabeth Polar station in Antarctica.

Although these three were evacuated on December 23, the virus continued to spread SoirmagA third of the station’s members were injured at the end of December. However, there were no severe symptoms to be regretted: all received their double dose of the vaccine – a condition mandatory to join the norm – and at least one received a booster shot.

Pollution due to omicron?

on the chain ABCNo one is sick anymore, Josef Cheek, project manager at Polar International, said Tuesday, January 4th. “Everyone was getting back on their feet quickly. Symptoms included a sore throat, sometimes a mild fever, fatigue and headache.”

He explained that all scientists have the possibility to evacuate the base on January 12, but they have refused so far in order to continue their research. “The pandemic has been a minor nuisance, everyone who tested positive and had to go into quarantine is now back at work,” he said.

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The authorities are now wondering where the first person was infected, while travelers to the base have not only been vaccinated, but have also taken several PCR tests and respected a ten-day quarantine in South Africa, Compulsory passage to reach Antarctica. According to the virologist contacted by the Belgian Arctic Secretariat, this residence is in South Africa, the country to which the highly contagious species belongs. Omicron, will be exactly the cause of pollution.

However, Princess Elisabeth Polar’s station is not the only one to have contracted the virus in Antarctica. In December 2020, 36 personnel participated in a military base in Chili pepper On this frozen continent she was positive.

See also on The HuffPost: Covid: 2 French women positive every second, ‘10% of population’ contact case, Ferran alert

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