Coronavirus reaches end of earth as first outbreak hits Antarctica

DY365
DY365
Published: December 23,2020 08:57 PM
DY365

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December 23, 2020: The coronavirus has landed in Antarctica, the last continent previously free from COVID-19, Chile's military said this week.

December 23, 2020: The coronavirus has landed in Antarctica, the last continent previously free from COVID-19, Chile's military said this week, as health and army officials scrambled to clear out and quarantine staff from a remote research station surrounded by ocean and icebergs.



Chile's armed forces said at least 36 people had been infected at its Bernardo O'Higgins base, including 26 army personnel and 10 civilian contractors conducting maintenance at the base.



The permanently staffed research station, operated by Chile's army, lies near the tip of a peninsula in northernmost Antarctica, overlooking a bay often dotted with icebergs.



Base personnel "are already properly isolated and constantly monitored" by health authorities in Magallanes, in Chilean Patagonia, the army said.



Research and military stations in Antarctica, among the most remote in the world had gone to extraordinary lengths in recent months to keep the virus out, cancelling tourism, scaling back activities and staff and locking down facilities.



Researchers with the British Antarctic Survey estimate about 1,000 people at 38 stations across the frozen continent had safely navigated the southern hemisphere winter without incident.