UPDATED: December 22, 2020 | 16:12 IST
Amid panic over the new coronavirus strain, Antarctica has recorded its first-ever case of the novel coronavirus. According to reports, 36 new infections are reported among people stationed at a Chilean research base. These included 26 members of the Chilean army and 10 maintenance workers.
As per a report in The Guardian, Spanish media reported the outbreak at the General Bernardo O’Higgins Riquelme research base on Monday.
The 36 infected individuals were evacuated to Punta Arenas in Chile, where they were reportedly kept under isolation.
Three crew members on a ship providing support to the base were also tested positive. They had returned from their mission to Antarctica, the report said.
In a bid to prevent Covid-19 spread, all major research projects in the Antarctic have been halted, the Guardian said.
“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 Guardian report cited Newsweek as quoting the Chilean army.