Antarctic Station – Named After Chilean Irish Founding Father – Reports Covid-19
On Monday the Chilean Army released a statement confirming that Covid-19 has reached the most southern continent on Earth: Antarctica. The report stated that 26 Chilean Army and ten contractors – stationed in the Antarctic research base General Bernardo O’Higgins Riquelme – showed symptoms of Covid-19. According to the Chilean military the personnel are being monitored by health authorities in Magallanes, in Chilean Patagonia.
The base is one of 13 Chilean Antarctic stations and is named after one of Chile’s founding fathers: Bernardo O’Higgins whos father was from County Sligo. It lies at 63°19′15″S 57°53′55″W, at an elevation of 13 m, about 30 km south-west of Prime Head, the northernmost point of the Antarctic Peninsula, at Cape Legoupil.
Base General Bernardo O’Higgins Riquelme or Base Libertador General Bernardo O’Higgins Riquelme was established on 18 February 1948 by the Chilean Antarctic Expedition. It is also the capital of Antártica Commune.
Bernardo O’Higgins was born in the Chilean city of Chillán in 1778. He was the illegitimate son of Ambrosio O’Higgins, 1st Marquis of Osorno, from County Sligo. A prominent figure during the Chilean independence movement, Bernardo went on to become the second Supreme Director of Chile (1817–1823); the first, holder however, of this title to head a fully independent Chilean state.
He was Captain General of the Chilean Army, Brigadier of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata, General Officer of Gran Colombia and Grand Marshal of Peru.