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Antarctica: Continent That Coronavirus Pandemic Has So Far Failed to Reach

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Antarctica - Sputnik International
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Although the COVID-19 pandemic has indeed been sweeping all across the globe (the WHO would otherwise not have given this status to the virus), there is at least one corner that is still untouched by the novel plague - icy Antarctica.

It appears to be the only continent without a single registered case to date, while according to Worldometers.info, the total cases around the world have hit 287,100, with the death toll at nearly 12,000.

Stijn Thoolen, a 29-year-old researcher with the European Space Agency, who has been part of a research team at the Concordia Station in Antarctica since November, told ABC News in an email exchange that the experience of living in the southernmost part of the globe is already very much “otherworldly”. He went on to point out, referring the coronavirus outbreak, that the sad news from the rest of the world makes him feel even more detached.

Thoolen, part of a 12-person crew stationed there performing biomedical experiments involving the weather, said that for some of his colleagues, namely from Italy and France, it has been extremely challenging to be away from their homes while their countries are being affected the worst by the raging COVID-19.

"At times it feels a little inconsiderate", Thoolen said, further explaining what he means:

”When we enjoy ourselves dressing up for the Saturday night or celebrating a second Christmas just because we can”.

He is in regular contact with his family and friends, who even jokingly ask him to share tips with them on effective self-isolation, which is recommended across the board amid the healthcare crisis.

Italy has overtaken China, the place of origin of the virus, to become the epicentre of the pandemic, with a registered 47,021 COVID-19 cases and over 4,000 deaths. Governments have been instructing citizens on sweeping quarantine and self-isolation measures. Due to disrupted logistics and economic networks, concerns are mounting over possible shortages of staple items and other commodities.

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