Antarctica becomes last continent where novel coronavirus was found

At least 36 people have contracted coronavirus infection at the Chilean research base in Antarctica, Emol reported, citing the Chilean military.

Twenty-six military men and ten civilians - the entire staff of the station - fell ill, La Tercera wrote.  All the infected individuals were evacuated to Chile, and the station premises were disinfected before a new team of specialists replaced the sick.

Antarctica has thus become the last continent on Earth, where coronavirus was detected. On all other continents, the virus had been found by the end of February 2020.

In Antarctica, no one lives permanently. The number of specialists who work there at scientific stations varies from one to five thousand people a year. In Antarctica, there are many scientific polar stations and bases that belong to various countries of the world, where scientific (including biological, geographical, geological and meteorological) research works are carried out.

According to the Antarctic Treaty, any country has the right to build its own station to the south of 60° south latitude. Russia operates five permanent scientific stations in Antarctica and several seasonal ones.