in

Australians living in Antarctica explain how coronavirus is affecting daily life, despite no cases

The land untouched by coronavirus: Australians based in -49C Antarctica are fearful of an outbreak and have started practising social distancing despite there being no cases on the frozen continent

  • Australian Antarctic Division introduces new measures to deal with COVID-19
  • Researchers on the icy continent must follow strict social-distancing protocols
  • Expeditioners must be screened for a total of 14 days before they head south
  • If coronavirus reaches Antarctica various sub stations may have to shut down  
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

Researchers living and working in Antarctica have been adopting strict new measures in order to remain the only place on earth unaffected by the deadly coronavirus.

As well as introducing social-distancing protocols on the frozen continent, the Australian Antarctic Division has also closed its Tasmanian head office to the public and made it mandatory for all expeditioners to undergo a 14-day screening process before setting off.

With 89 Australians among the 4000 personnel from 28 countries currently based in Antarctica at various sub stations, officials fear an outbreak in such a remote location could be catastrophic. 

All expeditioners who travel to Antarctic must undergo a mandatory 14-day screening period (Mawson research station is pictured, March 20, 2020)

All expeditioners who travel to Antarctic must undergo a mandatory 14-day screening period (Mawson research station is pictured, March 20, 2020)

Expeditioners (pictured) unloading cargo off the Aurora Australis for the annual Davis Station resupply, (March 25, 2020)

Expeditioners (pictured) unloading cargo off the Aurora Australis for the annual Davis Station resupply, (March 25, 2020)

‘We have had to introduce early measures to protect our stations given the extreme isolation and austere medical environment,’ operations manager at the Australian Antarctic Division, Robb Clifton, told Channel 9.

‘This has included the need for quarantine periods before travel south to Antarctica and additional screening for people travelling by ship to Macquarie Island.

‘Non-essential travel to Antarctica was also suspended to reduce the risk.’

Facing temperatures of -49C in the Winter, medical facilities are set up to deal with a number of extreme and unusual emergencies.

But although Australian Antarctic Division bases — which include the Mawson, Davis, Casey and Macquarie Island stations — are stocked with equipment such as respirators, in the case of a mass COVID-19 outbreak medical staff may be overrun.

“This would be very challenging for us given the extreme isolation and single doctor on station. It may result in having to close a station hence our early and strong measures to prevent introduction,” Mr Clifton said.

An aerial view of the Davis research station is pictured where temperatures reach -49 degrees in Winter. (March 25, 2020)

An aerial view of the Davis research station is pictured where temperatures reach -49 degrees in Winter. (March 25, 2020)

Antarctica remains the only place in the world that is unaffected by the deadly coronavirus

Antarctica remains the only place in the world that is unaffected by the deadly coronavirus  

  

 

Advertisement

Source link

Written by Angle News

Leave a Reply

Overweight photographer, 56, accused of sexually assaulting a young model

Georgia healthcare worker lies dead in home from coronavirus for up to 16 hours