Because of the COVID-19 pandemic the team of the 25th Ukrainian Antarctic Expedition was unable to reach Antarctica and was forced to return to Kyiv in the evening of March 20, 2020.
“On March 16th, the 25th UAE set off for Antarctica, trying to overcome a long way before quarantine restrictions would have made this impossible. However, quarantine in Chile and almost all countries in South America forced the plans to be adjusted. For three days the expedition was in Istanbul and had to return to Kyiv tonight late”, – said the Director of the National Antarctic Scientific Center of the MES of Ukraine Evgen Dykyi.
During the trip the team had maximum protection against COVID-19 – everyone was provided with respirators, glasses, antiseptics and the like.
Now the expedition members are feeling well; after landing they underwent temperature screening. Despite this, all the team voluntarily went for a temporary observation, and next week everyone will pass a laboratory test for the presence of coronavirus.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education and Science and the National Antarctic Scientific Center, in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and the Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the Republic of Chile, are looking for ways to deliver the expedition to Akademik Vernadsky Station. There the 25th UAE should change its colleagues working in Antarctica for almost a year.