The first cases of coronavirus disease recorded in Antarctica

Antarctica is no longer the only continent not affected by the pandemic. The infection was detected in 36 employees of the Chilean polar station General Bernardo O’Higgins, according to the newspaper Tercera, citing the country’s Ministry of Defense.

“36 men were infected with COVID-19, of which 26 correspond to military personnel, and 10 to civilians from a contracting company that carried out planned repairs at an Antarctic base,” the Chilean Defense Ministry said. The sick are isolated and under observation, doctors report a “favourable” course of the disease, without complications. The remaining servicemen were evacuated.

Before that, on December 17, a quarantine was announced on the Chilean Navy vessel, which was docked at the coastal Antarctic base Heeral-Bernardo-O’Higgins from November 27 to December 10. There, the coronavirus was found in three people out of 208 onboard.

Antarctica was the last continent to record coronavirus cases. According to Johns Hopkins University, the number of reported cases of infection in the world since the beginning of the pandemic has reached 77 394 940, 1 703 164 people have died.

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