Antarctica is no longer the only continent without the novel coronavirus, after up to 36 cases were reported on the icy continent at the Chilean General Bernardo O'Higgins Riquelme army base on Monday, according to Newsweek.
"Thanks to the timely preventive action, it was possible to relieve said personnel – who, after being subjected to a medical control and the administration of a PCR test... turned out to be positive for COVID-19," the Chilean Army said in a statement, according to the Spanish-language news outlet, 24 Horas.
All 36 patients have been evacuated to the city of Punta Arenas in Southern Chile. Some of the patients experienced symptoms before testing positive, according to the Associated Press. New personnel who were quarantined and tested have replaced the infected crew.The Chilean Navy also reported on Monday that three crew members on a ship that provided logistical support to the base had tested positive for the coronavirus after returning from a mission, according to Newsweek.Between 1,000 to 5,000 individuals, mostly scientists and support staff, are usually present in Antarctica. Some countries lowered the number of individuals they sent to the continent this year due to the virus.