The coronavirus has now reached every continent in the world. Thirty-six people at a Chilean research base in Antarctica have tested positive for COVID-19 and were forced to evacuate. Officials with the Chilean Army said that the number included 26 members of the military and ten maintenance workers stationed at General Bernardo O’Higgins Riquelme.
Authorities said that there were 60 people at the research base, and they were all evacuated and tested within 24 hours of a worker reporting symptoms. The infected patients are doing well and are currently self-isolating in the city of Punta Arenas in Chile.
Officials said that three crew members on a ship that recently returned from dropping off supplies at the remote outpost tested positive for COVID-19 as well. They have not determined how the virus made its way to one of the most remote locations on the planet and are conducting contact tracing.
New personnel arrived at the base after testing negative for COVID-19 and undergoing a mandatory quarantine.
While there are no permanent residents living in Antarctica, the continent houses dozens of research stations that are occupied throughout the year. About 1,000 people are stationed there during the winter months, and the population rises to nearly 5,000 during the summer.
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