Antarctica has officially recorded its first COVID-19 cases after 36 people from a Chilean research base contracted the virus.
According to the Guardian, ten maintenance workers and 26 soldiers have been taken from research base General Bernardo O’Haggins Riquelme to the city of Punta Arenas in Chile, where they are being isolated and remain in good condition.
General Bernardo O’Haggins Riquelme is one of 13 Chilean research bases on the islands, located on the northern-most tip of the Antarctic Peninsula in West Antarctica.
The continent has no permanent residents or commercial activity, so the 1,000 researchers that make up the camps and tourists are the only temporary visitors on the barren continent.
Most research operations on Antarctica have seized since the pandemic, effectively halting research on climate, weather, geology and wildlife.
And while global cases of COVID-19 continue to rise, a mass roll-out of vaccinations will hopefully see their research efforts resume in the new year.
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