Coronavirus: Fears for indigenous tribes after doctor in Amazon tests positive

There are fears remote indigenous communities could be decimated by the coronavirus after a doctor working with an Amazon tribe was confirmed to have the disease.

The doctor had been working with the Tikunas, a tribe of more than 30,000 people who live in the upper Amazon near Brazil’s borders with Colombia and Peru.

Brazil’s health ministry said the doctor, who has not been named, had returned to the tribe on 18 March after a vacation.

He had no symptoms at that stage and had been wearing protective gear, including a face mask.

After developing a fever that day, he isolated himself and was confirmed as having COVID-19 a week later.

Eight members of the tribe have been isolated in their homes and are being monitored, the health ministry said.

It is the first known case of the virus being in an indigenous village, sparking fears it could prove especially lethal for Brazil’s 850,000 indigenous people.

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