The Covid-19 pandemic has reached Antarctica, the only continent to have been spared by the deadly virus so far.

Chilean authorities announced that 58 people tested positive for the virus in one of the world’s coldest and sparsely populated continents, according to a report.

A total of 36 people at the Gen Bernardo O’Higgins Riquelme Antarctic base have tested positive for coronavirus till December 21, the Chilean Army said.

The army said that the group includes 26 military personnel and 10 civilian employees of a maintenance contract company.

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On Tuesday the Health Minister for the Biobio region in Chile said there are 21 infections involving people aboard the Chilean navy’s Sergeant Aldea supply vessel.

One more case was also reported in Las Estrellas’ village, where the ship had been docked.

The first three people on the Sergeant Aldea vessel tested positive last week, following which all 208 crew members are being quarantined aboard that ship.

It also said that the vessel had serviced the base on the Trinity Peninsula between November 27 and December 10.

Meanwhile, the overall number of global coronavirus cases has topped 73.7 million, while the deaths have surged to more than 1.70 million, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The US is the worst-hit country with the world’s maximum number of cases and deaths at 18,230,242 and 322,765 respectively, according to the Johns Hopkins University

India comes in second place in terms of cases at 10,099,066, while the country’s death toll stands at146,444.

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