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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has reached Antarctica during the world’s biggest global pandemic.
All seven continents worldwide have been affected by the virus after cases were recorded for the first time in Antarctica on Monday.
36 people have reportedly been infected at a Chilean research base, including 26 other Chilean army members and 10 maintenance workers.
They became positive with COVID-19 after taking a PCR test. Some were noticing symptoms before the tests were administered.
All 36 who became positive were evacuated to Punta Arenas’s city in Chile, now self-isolating and are all in a ‘stable’ condition.
The Antarctic Report posted a tweet sharing the unfortunate news.
“Sadly Antarctica is no longer free of COVID-19!” read the tweet opening statement.
“The Chilean army today reported 36 personnel at O’Higgins Base have tested positive (26 military and 10 civilians).”
Sadly #Antarctica is no longer free of COVID-19! The Chilean army today reported 36 personnel at O’Higgins Base have tested positive (26 military and 10 civilians); the station has been undergoing the annual exchange of personnel over the last few weeks; pic @Base_OHiggins pic.twitter.com/OKtjqQQ4Om
— The Antarctic Report (@AntarcticReport) December 22, 2020
A comment on the tweet expressed how it happened, including the levels of incompetence it took to bring COVID-19 to Antarctica.
What level of incompetence is actually necessary for this to happen? How hard would it really have been to put people in isolation for at least 2 weeks before the posting to Antarctica?
— Jamie (@JTBrusseleir) December 22, 2020
The limited response of medical and public health care in Antarctica is a high risk that could have catastrophic consequences if one were to contract the virus due to the significant morbidity in the extreme environment.
Image: SUPPLIED/The Antarctic Report
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