Ebene News – GB – COVID-19: Coronavirus finally reaches Antarctica with 36 positive tests at Chilean base

Most of those infected are believed to be military personnel, and some maintenance workers have also been diagnosed

The coronavirus has now reached the last continent on Earth – with the first cases identified in Antarctica

The Chilean army has announced that 36 people linked to General Bernardo O’Higgins Riquelme’s base at the planet’s south pole have tested positive for COVID-19

The base is in the far west of Antarctica, near the southern tip of South America

Of the 36 infected, 26 are believed to be members of the Chilean military, while the rest are believed to be maintenance workers

The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) said that “the risks and implications of transmission of the virus to Antarctic wildlife are largely unknown”

The most isolated continent in the world had managed to avoid the pandemic due to a set of circumstances

The low number of people and the regimented travel programs have made it easier to quarantine and monitor those heading to the South Pole

And there was also a temporal aspect – the epidemic coincided with the end of the summer season

During much of the pandemic, travel to and from Antarctica has been minimal, with the mainland sitting in darkness around the clock

But transmission has always been a risk, with a BAS publication saying: “Given the diversity of transmission routes and vectors, it will be difficult to prevent the introduction of the virus, even with quarantine procedures strict in place”

The number of people in Antarctica varies considerably from season to season, with around 1,000 in winter and around 5,000 in summer

© 2020 Sky France

Antarctica, Coronavirus, Continent

Ebene News – GB – COVID-19: The coronavirus finally reaches Antarctica with 36 positive tests on a Chilean base

Source: https://news.sky.com/story/covid-19-coronavirus-finally-reaches-antarctica-as-36-test-positive-at-chilean-base-12169876