WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Chances for the novel coronavirus to get into the International Space Station (ISS) are next to zero due to the enhanced security measures undertaken by the space agencies, NASA nurse Raksana Batsmanova says.
Batsmanova has been cooperating with NASA for almost 10 years and providing medical assistance to astronauts during space launches and landings.
“Currently, all the efforts of space agencies are aimed at preventing the entry of any virus onto the ISS, including the coronavirus”, Batsmanova, who is also a senior nurse of the clinic ‘European Medical Center’ and a nurse at International SOS, said. “Taking into account the enhanced security measures, the chances for the coronavirus to get on the ISS are slim to none”.
Batsmanova stressed that under normal conditions (not during a pandemic) astronauts and cosmonauts are in quarantine for some time before flying to the ISS, and all things sent to the ISS are disinfected.
As the outbreak developed into a pandemic, these measures have been toughened. Quarantine for astronauts and cosmonauts has been extended and it has been introduced for those working with them. Personal communication has also been limited, including with the media, and the number of teams working directly with astronauts has been reduced, the nurse said.
“Under no circumstances should any virus get onto the ISS, because the station has a closed loop and its own atmosphere, and the crew is far from the ground. Today all the tough measures necessary for this are being followed”, Batsmanova concluded.
Globally, COVID-19 has infected more than 755,000 people and killed more than 36,000, according to Johns Hopkins University’s real-time tracker.
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