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News > Brazil

Amazon's Indigenous Groups Threatened By COVID, PAHO Warns

  • Amazon indigenous communities are vulnerable due to their remoteness

    Amazon indigenous communities are vulnerable due to their remoteness | Photo: EFE/ Raphael Alves

Published 19 May 2020

The Organization alerted that the virus is spreading fast in Amazon areas between Brazil, Colombia, Peru.

The fast-spread of the new coronavirus in the tri-border area of the Amazon between Brazil, Colombia, and Peru is threatening to infect remote Indigenous communities in the area; the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) alerted this Tuesday.

"Bolsonaro Is at War With Science" Brazilian Doctor Warns

According to PAHO directors, it is urgent to improve special measures to protect vulnerable groups of people among the Amazonian population, for the contagion is raising fast in densely populated border cities.
The Articulation of the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB), a leading indigenous organization in the country, reported 540 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among 40 groups.
Brazilian health authorities had informed that as a result, and due to the remoteness of some of the villages, the doctors have had to evacuate by plane critical COVID-19 patients to the only intensive care units in the region.

"The number of COVID-19 patients has increased a lot. We are flying more planes [up the rivers]; it's the last opportunity to save their lives," said Edson Santos Rodrigues, a pediatric doctor involved in these operations, who usually have to fly to Manaus to treat his patients.
"Sometimes we don't get there in time, because we cannot land at night on remote airfields that have no lights. Manaus, the capital city of Amazonas, has some of the only intensive care units in the region," he said.
Of relevance, Manaus was the first Brazilian city to run out of ICU beds when the pandemic hit.
Currently, Brasil registers 265,896 positive cases, with 17,840 deaths and 100,459 patients recovered.

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