It’s official. COVID-19 has now spread to every continent on the planet.

On Tuesday, December 22, new reports revealed that 36 people had tested positive for COVID-19 at a research base in Antarctica. Many of the people affected are believed to be members of the Chilean Army.

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People were living there

In a statement, the Chilean Army confirmed the news that multiple members had contracted the illness.

“Thanks to the timely preventive action… it was possible to relieve said personnel, who, after being subjected to medical control and the administration of a PCR test... turned out to be positive for COVID-19,” they said.

In addition to the army members, ten maintenance contractors at the Bernardo O’Higgins research base are also believed to have tested positive.

The base is located on the northernmost point of the Antarctic Peninsula, according to CTV News. 

There are no permanent residents on the continent, but there have been over 1,000 people residing there for scientific purposes.

For months, Antarctica was the only landmass unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this year, it was described as a “safe little bubble”.

All of the people who tested positive for COVID-19 have now moved off the region and are quarantining in Chile.

While the illness has now reached every continent on Earth, there is still a small number of countries that are yet to confirm a single case.

*This article's cover image is for illustrative purposes only.

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