Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 27 May 2020

First coronavirus case detected in Ecuador Amazon tribe

The first case reported in the Waorani tribe is a pregnant woman, 17

Waorani indigenous people sing to thank nature at the Teata sacred waterfall, near the village of Nemompare, on the banks of the Curaray river, in Pastaza Province, Ecuador. AFP
Waorani indigenous people sing to thank nature at the Teata sacred waterfall, near the village of Nemompare, on the banks of the Curaray river, in Pastaza Province, Ecuador. AFP

The first case of the novel coronavirus has been detected in one of Ecuador's indigenous Amazon tribes, the health ministry said on Sunday.

Waorani organisations - 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.

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

The federal government – in co-ordination with indigenous leaders – investigated 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, six of them have symptoms, so 20 rapid tests and a total of seven nasopharyngeal swabs were performed," the health ministry said. The test results have not been released yet..

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 about 33,000 cases and more than 2,700 deaths.

Updated: May 18, 2020 11:15 AM

SHARE

SHARE

Most Popular