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Novel Coronavirus Reaches the Isolated Amazon Tribe

Brazilian officials have warned of an impending health calamity as they announced the first coronavirus case among highly indigenous group across Amazon region, known for its remoteness and vulnerability to foreign diseases.

Health workers reported that 15- year old, first Yanomami boy to be diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, was being treated at a hospital in Boa Vista and died of COVID-19 on April 9. This has raised fears that disease may have spread to his contacts since developing sign and symptoms three weeks ago. The source of his sickness is still unknown, from where he contracted the disease.

This case marks the second demise of an indigenous individual in Brazil. The number of affirmed cases among the nation’s clans presently remains at seven, dispersed across three Amazonian states. These cases include four Kokama family members contracted the disease in the western province of Amazonas by a specialist from the indigenous healthcare service who had just come back from the conference held in southern Brazil and failed to follow the protocols of self-isolation.

Isolated indigenous groups in the Amazon rainforest are vulnerable to illnesses that are brought from the outside world. The Yanomami rights activists said the boy had come in to contact with “many” different indigenous individuals after his symptoms started appearing.

The Hutukara Association accused “inadequate medical care” for the death of 15-year-old boy, saying he went over about fourteen days without a legitimate analysis from the time he previously went to the medical clinic with respiratory manifestations.

In the north-central Amazon region of Pará, after post mortem reports requested by examiners confirmed that 87-year-old Borari lady had died of the novel coronavirus. Grievers turned out for the memorial service in late March, unaware of the fact that she carried the dangerous infection and could transmit the disease. The participation of hundreds at the service has stirred feelings of dread that a lot more cases will appear in the coming days, overwhelming already poor healthcare systems in that region.

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The archbishop of Porto Velho, Rondônia and leader of the Catholic rights group Indigenist Missionary Council, Roque Paloschi said that owing to the high movement of individuals starting with one state o the next in Amazon, as well as the lack of strategies, there are chances of the quick spread of COVID-19 among the populations living in Amazônia, which could prompt debacle in both short and medium-term.

The case of the Yanomami youngster has touched the raw nerve among right activists and tribal leaders. Nearly 22,000 Yanomami live in remote in tough upland wilderness astride the border of Venezuela. Many of the villages have almost no contact with the outside, yet their rambling store has been wrongfully penetrated by a large number of gold prospectors, posing a grave risk to the whole tribe. Yanomami pioneers have been begging authorities to expel the miners for weeks. The adolescent belongs to the riverside community that is overrun by a string of mining camps.

In an open letter to the federal government and health ministry, the Hutukara Yanomami warned that they must accomplish their work for maintaining a strategic distance from the infiltration of the plague into the homes along the pathways opened by the non-indigenous intruders.cautioned the Hutukara Yanomami Association in an open letter on March 19 to government wellbeing and indigenous issues authorities.

Activists are especially worried over the destiny of the settlement of Moxihatetema, whose dozen of inhabitants have steadily evaded contact with outsiders, even with some other Yanomami communities. Prospectors discovered gold a few years ago, only 18 miles from the town, and even before the danger of COVID-19, the leaders expected that the community could be cleared out by infection which will be introduced by the miners.

Amna Rana

Amna Rana, a writing enthusiast and a microbiologist. Her areas of interest are medical and health care. She writes about diseases, treatments, alternative therapies, lifestyles and the latest news. You can find her on Linkedin Amna Rana.

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