COVID-19 has circulated almost across the globe and has already contaminated more than 5 lakh people. While most of the nations have enforced lockdowns to curtail the spread of this lethal virus, this pandemic is transforming the course of our lives in many aspects. Though, during this crisis, there is one place that is not impacted by these sudden and widespread changes.
Antarctica, the one continent that has not yet stated any confirmed case of Coronavirus. A minority of people there have been the viewers of this pandemic from a distance, and have luckily not been affected by the sense of unease, which has caught people around the globe.
It is, nevertheless, not surprising to see Antarctica not yet being loaded with a case, as it has no official native population. Most of the people, i.e., around 4400 people residing there, are mainly visiting researchers and scientists. Additionally, even during the normal times, only a handful of people are permitted to go in and out of Antarctica; that too, after medical workers are done with testing for signs of influenza and other illness before arrival.
Folks who are stationed in Antarctica are unlikely to catch the virus, but if they get sick, they will be at great risk. Though most bases will be capable of handling a single case of serious respiratory infection, they would, however, battle to contain one that spreads as rapidly as the COVID-19. Further, there’s no way to ensure that it won’t spread to the ends of the Earth eventually.
Mentioning to the Coronavirus pandemic, Chief Medical Officer at the Australian Antarctic said, “No continent is immune, including Antarctica.”
Mike Brian, Station Leader at Britain’s Rothera research base included, that as the deadly Coronavirus is increasing at an exponential rate in the rest of the world, Antarctic bases are dealing with health issues that stay mostly mundane. He stated that at this time, the use of hand sanitizer has gone up though.