The Yanomami, a remote Amazon tribe, report their first case of coronavirus

  • Comments Off on The Yanomami, a remote Amazon tribe, report their first case of coronavirus
  • News

Most believed that the coronavirus pandemic is only affecting large cities, but this is not the case, since an Amazon tribe has already presented its first case.

A 15-year-old boy from the Yanomami tribe was admitted to the intensive care unit of a hospital in Brazil and later confirmed to be infected with the coronavirus. Unfortunately, his death was confirmed this Friday morning.

Alvanei Xirixana died Thursday night while in the intensive care unit of the main hospital in Boa Vista, the capital of the state of Roraima, according to the Indigenous Special Health District (Dsei), associated with the Ministry of Health.

Fever, chest pain, and difficulty breathing made this young man go to the hospital, and although in a first test, he came out negative, in a second one, he tested positive for COVID-19.

According to Luiz Henrique Mandetta, Minister of Health in Brazil, this case sets off the alarm due to the remoteness of the area in which this tribe lives.

This tribe lives between Brazil and Venezuela in around 200 villages, on a long expanse of land, so it is feared that the contagion may spread between them.

In the opinion of Sofia Mendonça, a researcher at the University of Sao Paulo, if the virus were to spread throughout the different indigenous communities, their survival would be put at risk due to their conditions, practically erasing them from the map.

Members of other tribes have also tested positive, and it is believed to have happened after discovering that a doctor who worked with them had a coronavirus and spread it throughout different communities.

At the moment, there is a state of alert and also of panic, because the remoteness, the customs, and the lack of infrastructure in the indigenous areas would generate a very serious scenario for all its inhabitants. Brazilian Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta reported that the 

government plans to build a field hospital for tribes that are vulnerable to contagion.

Brazil faces an increase in coronavirus cases, with 20,000 reported on Friday, and the number of deaths doubled in five days to 1,075, the ministry said.

The work being done now is to bring them food so that they do not get close to the cities, as well as provide them with basic elements for fishing and hunting, which is the way they obtain food.

The expectation is that this is the only case and does not end in a huge tragedy with the contagion of all the communities, which are quite extensive in the Brazilian territory.