Brazilian Health Officials Confirm First Indigenous Coronavirus Case

A 20-year-old woman who lives in a village deep within the Amazon rainforest has become the first indigenous Brazilian individual – out of over 300 tribes in the country – to contract the COVID-19 novel coronavirus.

The Brazilian Health Ministry’s Secretaria Especial de Saúde Indígena (SESAI) announced Wednesday that a 20-year-old woman of the Kokama tribe tested positive for the novel coronavirus, reported Telesur English.

The Kokama tribe is one of largest indigenous tribes in the Amazon, comprising over 30,000 individuals who inhabit land near the borders of both Peru and Colombia.

SESAI explained that the woman was the only individual out of 15 health workers to test positive for the novel coronavirus. However, a total of 12 patients tested after contact with the doctor were diagnosed with COVID-19. The indigenous branch of the health ministry also noted that the woman has been isolated with her family and did not show COVID-19 symptoms.

Regional health officials fear that the novel coronavirus has the ability to quickly spread and become lethal for Brazil’s estimated 850,000 indigenous people.

In addition to Brazil, it was reported by local authorities on Tuesday that Colombia had also identified its first coronavirus cases among its indigenous community.

“We are very concerned,” ONIC press officer Maricela Londono told the outlet. “It puts everyone at grave risk.”


Brazilian Health Officials Confirm First Indigenous Coronavirus Case

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