Deadly COVID reaches Antarctica

Santiago: The deadly coronavirus has finally reached the end of earth as first outbreak hits Antarctica, Chile’s military said this week.

Chile’s Navy reported it too had detected three cases of COVID-19 among 208 crew members of a ship that had sailed in the Antarctic region between November 27 and December 10.

The health and army officials scrambled to clear out and quarantine staff from a remote research station surrounded by ocean and icebergs.

Research and military stations in Antarctica – among the most remote in the world – had gone to extraordinary lengths in recent months to keep the virus out, canceling tourism, scaling back activities and staff and locking down facilities.

An Army press officer said the first COVID-19 cases had been reported in mid-December, when two soldiers fell ill.

Much of the area, blasted by cold winds off the ocean, mountains and glaciers, has been under quarantine restrictions for months.