1st coronavirus case detected in Ecuador Amazon tribe

1st coronavirus case detected in Ecuador Amazon tribe
TRIBE. Waorani indigenous people sing at the Teata sacred waterfall, near the village of Nemompare, on the banks of the Curaray river, in Pastaza province, Ecuador on April 14, 2019. Photo by Rodrigo Buendia/AFP

QUITO, Ecuador – The first case of the novel coronavirus has been detected in one of Ecuador’s indigenous Amazon tribes, the health ministry said Sunday, May 17.

Waorani organizations – speaking through the GO Alliance for Human Rights in Ecuador (DDHH) – warned COVID-19’s spread could be “catastrophic and highly lethal” for their community, which is vulnerable to diseases.

The first case reported in the Waorani tribe is a “pregnant woman, 17 years old, who began to show symptoms on May 4,” the ministry said in a statement.

She was taken to a hospital in the capital Quito and placed in isolation, the statement said, without giving further details.

The federal government – in coordination with indigenous leaders – checked on 40 people that the woman had come into contact within the Miwaguno community, which has 140 inhabitants.

“Seventeen citizens with a history of respiratory systems were found. To date, 6 of them have symptoms, so 20 rapid tests and a total of 7 nasopharyngeal swabs were performed,” the health ministry said, without releasing the test results.

Ecuador, one of the hardest-hit countries in Latin America, is now in its second month of lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

It has reported some 33,000 cases and more than 2,700 deaths.— Source: Agence France-Presse

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