Remote Antarctica research outpost hit by coronavirus outbreak

A Covid outbreak has hit a small research team living in a remote scientific station in Antarctica.

Of 25 workers at the Princess Elisabeth polar station, 16 have been infected with the corona virus since mid-December. reports the i.

The staff at the Belgian outpost had all been tested and fully vaccinated before leaving.

Officials say all cases so far are mild and staff keep working. They were able to leave the country in mid-January, but they all decided to stay.

“The situation is not dire,” Joseph Cheek, an International Polar Foundation project manager, told the BBC.

“Although it was an inconvenience to have to quarantine certain employees who were infected with the virus, it has not significantly affected our work on the ward as a whole.

“All residents of the station were given the opportunity to leave on January 12th on a scheduled flight. However, they all expressed their wish to stay and continue their work. “

Antarctica recorded its first coronavirus case in December 2020 and was the last continent to discover the virus through an outbreak at a Chilean army base where 36 people tested positive.

There are 70 research bases at the South Pole, including five British stations.

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