Antarctica is by far the only continent without Coronavirus, and there has been a serious global effort to ensure that workers and scientists travelling are not bringing the virus along with them.
On Monday the first U.S. flight arrived in the continent following months of winter darkness but with a lot of precautionary measures.
The U.S. Antarctic program’s representative, Tony German said that on Monday, the Air Force flight took off with 106 passengers including the crew from Christchurch, New Zealand.
Tony German also mentioned that the skeleton crews that spent the Southern Hemisphere winter in the continent would be swapped with the new arrivals for the summer.
It was also reported that the crew stayed in quarantine for 4 days in San Francisco and after that 5 weeks in New Zealand. They went under a series of virus tests on the way. There was a delay of three weeks due to storms, following a long 6 week quarantine period for the passenger including the crew.
After the flight landed at the McMurdo Station, Code Yellow was imposed for everybody to wear a mask for at least 2 weeks. There has been a provision to test and isolate a passenger showing any signs of virus at the station. But German also said it would be challenging if evacuation has to take place for those who seek immediate medical attention as Antarctica’s weather is not stable due to which flights tend to get delayed.
It is a usual affair at McMurdo Station, a United States Antarctic research station on the south tip of Ross Island, where it takes the winter crew almost a week to clean the runway to proceed further.
The Boeing C-17 Globemaster has been the first flight to land in Antarctica after 4 months.
Officials state that exceptional cooperation among China, Russia, the United States and other countries in 2020 to prevent Coronavirus outbreak in the continent has been remarkable.
The people at McMurdo station are estimated to top at 450 this summer, about one-third the usual. German also said that the primary purpose is to retain the facilities up and equip for subsequent year’s winter-over while attempting to do remarkable science simultaneously.