Get the latest BPR news delivered free to your inbox daily. SIGN UP HERE
Even extreme social distancing, icy cold, and vaccinations did not stop COVID-19 from infecting two-thirds of staff at a research outpost in Antarctica, according to a report.
The BBC noted that since Dec. 14, 16 of the 25 Belgian scientific research staff at the Princess Elizabeth Polar Station have come down with the virus, though officials there say that the cases are mild thus far.
It’s not clear from the report which strain the researchers contracted.
“The situation isn’t dramatic,” said Joseph Cheek, a project manager for the International Polar Foundation, according to the outlet.
“While it has been an inconvenience to have to quarantine certain members of the staff who caught the virus, it hasn’t significantly affected our work at the station overall,” Cheek noted.
“All residents of the station were offered the opportunity to leave on a scheduled flight on 12 January. However, they all expressed their wish to stay and continue their work,” he said.
The first recorded case on Dec. 14 came seven days after a new research team arrived at the scientific outpost, the outlet reported.
All of those who tested positive were placed in isolation, according to officials, but the virus continued to spread nonetheless.
Anyone who travels to the station must be fully vaccinated, but they are also tested for the virus nonetheless. Two emergency physicians are stationed at the outpost, which is operated by the International Polar Foundation and went into service in 2009.
Officials have barred new arrivals to the research facility until the virus has completely run its course, the BBC reported.
The outlet also noted that the COVID infections at the station aren’t the first for an Antarctica research facility since the pandemic began. Last year, for instance, several Chilean military personnel stationed at the Bernardo O’Higgins research facility became infected after sailors aboard a supply vessel tested positive for COVID.
In a December 2020 report, the BBC noted that 36 Chilean personnel — 26 of whom were members of the country’s military — caught the virus and were subsequently evacuated to their country.
Several people reacted to the latest report of the virus reaching the remote outpost on social media, most noting that viruses do what they do — they spread — while others offered some humorous takes.
It goes wherever people go.
— Apneaboy💙 (@oxomoron) January 1, 2022
Ice Station ‘Zebra’ variant?
— Dave O (@cyclingdave295) January 1, 2022
Do they need to iceolate?
— Raff (@rafferty_nigel) January 1, 2022
So, tell us again about how all the measures we are using work again? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. pic.twitter.com/ylKYxdghOf
— DW (@TheDrewWelch) January 1, 2022
How can that happen, one of the most remote places on the planet 🤔
— GnDLFC72🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🤘 (@1962GDM) January 1, 2022
Wtf. So proves the point the locking down and isolation doesn’t do sh*t when even the remote place in the world is not enough to keep out of danger.
— Norfolk Boy in Thailand (@georgie_thai) January 1, 2022
You’ve got to be joking! Where next? The international space station?
— Jacob Jacobs (@yaadman65) January 1, 2022
And we are supposed to just accept that covid passports will stop it getting into busy hospitality venues? 🤣
— Dan Johnson (@DanJ_89) January 1, 2022
DONATE TO BIZPAC REVIEW
Please help us! If you are fed up with letting radical big tech execs, phony fact-checkers, tyrannical liberals and a lying mainstream media have unprecedented power over your news please consider making a donation to BPR to help us fight them. Now is the time. Truth has never been more critical!
- Jan. 6 committee chair Benny Thompson offers a stunning take on potential Trump criminal actions - January 2, 2022
- Life-long New Yorker posts ‘sad’ Twitter ode on post-pandemic Big Apple being ‘shadow of its former self’ - January 2, 2022
- NYPD officer shot in head in police lot as he slept in vehicle between shifts - January 2, 2022
We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.