The British newspaper The Guardian reported on Tuesday (22) that Antarctica, the only continent not yet affected by the coronavirus pandemic, recorded its first cases: there are 36 infections among people stationed in a Chilean research base, 26 of which are members of the army from that country and 10 maintenance workers.
In a note published in the newspaper El Mercurio on Monday (21), the Chilean army reported that all those infected were taken to the city of Punta Arenas, are under “constant monitoring”, but are in good condition.
ABC News reported that the research station General Bernardo O’Higgins Riquelme, where the infected worked, is one of the 13 bases that Chile keeps active in Antarctica. In a note, the Chilean army said that, thanks to preventive action, it was possible to dismiss the personnel who, “after being subjected to medical control and the application of a PCR test, tested positive for Covid-19”.
The first contagion in Antarctica
The contagion is related to a recent visit to the base, of the ship “Sergeant Aldea”, of the Chilean navy, which carried out logistical support work on the site, between November 27 and December 10. When the ship docked at the port of Talcahuano, a week later, three cases of covid-19 were detected among the 208 crew.