Washington/UNI: 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 said.
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, told Russian news agency Sputnik in an interview.
“Taking into account the enhanced security measures, the chances for the coronavirus to get on the ISS are slim to none," she said.
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.
“During a pandemic, these measures have been strengthened several times, quarantine measures for astronauts and cosmonauts have been extended, quarantine measures have been introduced for everyone who works with them, personal communication is limited, including with the media, and the number of teams working directly with astronauts has been reduced,” the nurse pointed out.
“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 7,55,000 people and killed more than 36,000, according to Johns Hopkins University’s real-time tracker.