Chile’s Army Reports Coronavirus Cases in Antarctica

By Brayden Yin

On December 21, Chilean authorities reported 58 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in at least two military bases in Antarctica. So far, other countries with military bases and research stations in Antarctica have not reported any further cases.

36 of these cases were from the Gen. Bernardo O’Higgins Riquelme Antarctic base. The authorities also reported that there were 21 cases aboard Sergeant Aldea navy supply ship. The last case was reported in Las Estrellas Village, where civilian personnel live. The civilian personnel work for the Lieutenant Rodolfo Marsh Martin Air Force Base, so there could possibly be even more cases in the air force base.

When the first three people tested positive for COVID-19, all 208 crewmates on the Sergeant Aldea were quarantined. The National Science Foundation for the US said that they were aware of the cases in the Sergeant Aldea. They say that “Personnel at US Antarctic Programhave had no interactions with the Chilean stations in question or the personnel who reside there,” said the foundation. National Science Foundation is committed to not exchanging personnel or accepting tourists at US Antarctic Program bases.

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