Reuters reports on the inevitable – COVID-19 has finally been carried to a research station in the Antarctic, breaking out in more than 30 people stationed in the remote, icy continent:
Chile’s armed forces said at least 36 people had been infected at its Bernardo O’Higgins base, including 26 army personnel and 10 civilian contractors conducting maintenance at the base.
The permanently staffed research station, operated by Chile’s army, lies near the tip of a peninsula in northernmost Antarctica, overlooking a bay often dotted with icebergs.
Base personnel “are already properly isolated and constantly monitored” by health authorities in Magallanes, in Chilean Patagonia, the army said, adding there had so far been no complications.
The Magallanes region, one of the closest populated areas to Antarctica and take-off point for many boats and planes headed to the continent, is among the hardest-hit in Chile.
Much of the area, blasted by cold winds off the ocean, mountains and glaciers, has been under quarantine restrictions for months.