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Covid-19 scuppers Australian Antarctic research trip

Image: CSIRO [CC BY 3.0]

CSIRO cancels research vessel’s 56-day voyage after participant tests positive for coronavirus in Hobart

Australia’s national science agency has cancelled an Antarctic voyage by its flagship research vessel after one of those due to travel tested positive for Covid-19.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation’s RV Investigator (pictured) was due to set sail on a 56-day trip to Antarctica this month, led by Geoscience Australia.

But on 10 January, CSIRO announced that someone due to sail had tested positive for Covid-19 during “an extended pre-departure medical clearance period” at port in Hobart.

“Voyage participants have been deemed close contacts and have entered quarantine for seven days in appropriate accommodation,” it said in a statement.

CSIRO and Geoscience Australia say they will look at alternative options for conducting the research in the future.