An official from the Russian space has tested positive for COVID-19, a disease that comes as a result of coronavirus infection. According to Russia’s space agency, they said that “there is no possible contamination that has spread to the International Space Station.
Evegeny Mikrin, who is the deputy CEO and chief designer at RSC Energia, was confirmed to test positive for coronavirus by the Russian news agency TASS. “Mikrin has undergone two tests for coronavirus, and the results of both tests are positive though he has no symptoms of the disease. He is now the 30th person from Roscosmos to be infected with the dangerous virus,”
On April 9, 2020, Mikrin was present at the launch of the new crew to the space from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. It is not clear who Mikrin may have interacted with, but there are no chances that the coronavirus has spread to the other Roscosmos personnel or space station.
“Possible ISS contamination is not likely to happen since the number of personnel who were conducting these operations are minimal and the precautionary measures and the strict rules to ensure they prevent any thinkable threat to the fellow crews,” said the Roscosmos press officer.
Both NASA and Roscosmos have stressed that they have taken suitable precautionary measures to make sure that all their staffs are safe and secure from infection as they can. “Staff members from Roscosmos and NASA, as well as other international partners, are more concerned about their health and safety of the teams supporting the International Space Station,” a representative from NASA; Dan Hout told the Space.com through email.
“The astronaut crew was put in a strict quarantine together with their medical teams,” Haut said. “It is necessary and essential to protecting the crews from all infectious diseases. The personnel must be provided with the personal protective equipment and follow to the latter the health procedures and social distancing. It is NASA practice and with all our international partners to ensure they keep the safety of the astronauts first before the launch and monitor them when they reach the International Space Station.”
Haut Said that NASA would not send coronavirus tests to the space station. “We are not supposed to share any crew medical information since the Privacy Rules prohibits us from doing so. NASA has a robust pharmacy onboard for treating various illnesses, but currently, we do not have the capability of performing tests for the infectious disease.” he said.