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Pandemic reaches Antarctica, last untouched continent

The pandemic has finally reached every continent on Earth.

Chilean authorities announce that at least 58 people that were at two military bases in Antarctica or on a navy ship that went to the continent tested positive for the new coronavirus.

So far no other country with a presence in Antarctica has publicly reported any other cases.

Chile’s army announced Monday that 36 people at the Gen. Bernardo O’Higgins Riquelme Antarctic base have tested positive, and on Tuesday the health minister for the Biobio region in Chile said there are 21 infections involving people aboard the Chilean navy’s Sergeant Aldea supply vessel.

One more case was reported in Las Estrellas’ village, where civilian personnel working at the Lieutenant Rodolfo Marsh Martin Air Force Base live, says Eduardo Castillo, regional health secretary for the Magallanes area, which oversee Chilean operations in the Antarctic. The Sargento Aldea ship docked at that village, he adds.

The army says the first group of 36 people includes 26 members of the military and 10 civilian employees of a maintenance contract company. It says none so far had shown complications.

AP

View of glaciers at the Torres del Paine National Park in Magallanes region, Chile, on November 1, 2019. (Johan Ordonez/AFP)
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