Six of the 10 have stabilized and are in quarantine at home, officials told AFP, while the others are receiving care at the local hospital.
The Great Tribe of Andaman struck by Covid-19 – Insiderfolks, Covid-19 has targeted an isolated group living in the Indian Ocean.
Survival International, an indigenous human rights organization, announced that at least 11 members of the Andamanian tribe in the Andaman Islands had been found positive for Covid-19.
“Our sources on the islands have now confirmed that 11 Great Andamanians tested positive for Covid-19, out of a population of just over 50. Three have now recovered and 8 are still in the hospital,” said Sophie Grig, Senior Researcher at Survival, in a statement to IFLScience on Friday.
“It’s shocking news,” they said.
The Great Andaman is a tribe living in the Andaman Islands, an archipelago in the Indian Ocean off the southwest coast of Myanmar.
The Andaman Islands, a group of nearly 600 islands in India and Myanmar, had a total of almost 3,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases and more than 40 associated deaths.
Initially, 10 separate tribes founded this group of indigenous people, but they are now generally called the great Andamanese.
When the British invaded the islands in the mid-19th century, they carried with them a host of new diseases, including measles, influenza and syphilis.
There were once more than 5,000 people in this joint tribe in the 19th century, but now there are only 50 left.
As experience has demonstrated, scattered tribes have little to no immunity to modern pathogens of industrial cultures.
While Covid-19 is a novel disease, it is suspected that they might also be more susceptible to the disease.
Drug addiction and tuberculosis are still prevalent in the population today, which may make them much more vulnerable.
“The Great Andamanese had already been decimated by diseases against which they had little immunity, brought by British colonisers in the 1850s,” Grig said.
“Like many peoples, they experienced devastating defeats upon first contact with outsiders – from a population of 5,000 members of ten separate groups in the 1850s to just 19 people little over a century later.
It is important that any attempt is made to stop the transmission of the virus to the other Great Andamanese and to secure the lands of the other tribes in the Andamans, to save them from being corrupted, too.
Meanwhile, there is growing uncertainty as to whether the virus will find its way to the uncontacted tribes that still live in the Andaman Islands, such as the Sentinel.
While the Sentinels have not been in touch with the outside world since the 1990s, they are at danger of coming into contact with suspected poachers fishing and lobster diving.
In South America, a variety of tribal tribes have been killed by Covid-19.
A 15-year-old boy from Brazil’s indigenous Yanomami group was the first to confirm Covid-19 ‘s death in the native tribe back in April.
Only last month, a small party of unknown native people allegedly joined another indigenous culture in the western Amazon region of Brazil.
Provided that this group had some interaction with the broader world, it was feared that the uncontacted tribal people would be at risk of acquiring Covid-19.
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