Coronavirus reaches Amazon rainforest, indigenous woman tests positive

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on April 02, 2020

File photo   -  AFP

An indigenous woman from one of the tribes in the Amazon rainforest has contracted the novel coronavirus, the first case reported among Brazil’s more than 300 tribes, the nation’s Health Ministry’s indigenous wing Sesai said, reported The Guardian.

This has raised fear among the indigenous communities about the virus spreading in the depth of the rainforest, as four cases of coronavirus have already surfaced in the same district, including a doctor who tested positive for the virus last week.

Sesai informed that the woman was one of the health workers working with the doctor who tested positive. She was the only health worker among 15 health workers and 12 patients who got infected with the virus.

According to the report, the doctor had returned from a vacation in southern Brazil to work with the Tikunas, one of the largest tribes in the Amazon, with more than 30,000 people. The tribe lives in the upper Amazon region, near the borders with Colombia and Peru.

Health experts have warned that the spreading virus could be hazardous for Brazil’s 8,50,000 indigenous people, who have been decimated for centuries by diseases brought by Europeans, from smallpox and malaria to the flu, The Guardian report added.

Published on April 02, 2020

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