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Remote Yanomami Tribe Records First Case Of Coronavirus

Claire Reid

| Last updated 

Remote Yanomami Tribe Records First Case Of Coronavirus

A remote Amazon tribe has recorded its first case of coronavirus, Brazilian officials have said.

A 15-year-old boy from the Yanomami tribe was taken to hospital complaining of shortness of breath, a fever, sore throat and chest pain. He was admitted to the intensive care unit, where he remains.

An initial test for covid-19 came back negative, but a second test confirmed the virus, Globo reports.

Credit: Shutterstock
Credit: Shutterstock

Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta said at a press conference the case was 'worrying' due to the remote nature of the tribe's community.

The Yanomami tribe is thought to be the largest tribe of indigenous people in Brazil, occupying more than 200 villages across 2.3million acres along the Venezuelan/Brazilian border.

According to local media seven indigenous tribes-people have contracted the potentially deadly coronavirus, prompting many remote communities to close off their villages.

An expert has warned that indigenous communities are in danger of being completely 'wiped out' by the coronavirus.

Speaking to the BBC, Dr Sofia Mendonça, a researcher at the Federal University of São Paulo said: "There is an incredible risk of the virus spreading across the native communities and wiping them out.

"Everyone gets sick, and you lose all the old people, their wisdom and social organisation. It's chaos."

Marivelton Baré, president of the Federation of Indigenous Organisations of Rio Negro, told the news outlet many of the communities are 'in a panic' over the ongoing outbreak.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

He said: "We'll need to take the food to the villages so that they don't expose themselves during this critical moment."

Dr Mendonça says some of these communities are now planning to split into smaller groups and head out into the forest until the outbreak is over.

"They will gather materials needed for hunting and fishing and will set up camps, waiting there until the dust settles," she said.

Tribes-people are also being advised to stop sharing utensils and to implement traditional seclusion practices for anyone who is experiencing symptoms of coronavirus.

It's okay to not panic. LADbible and UNILAD's aim with our series, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we're facing. For more information from the World Health Organisation on coronavirus, click here.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: World News, Coronavirus

Claire Reid
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