On Thursday, 10 members of the Great Andamanese tribe tests positive for coronavirus. The test results furl concerns among t members regarding safety and health. Great Andamanese has a population of just over 50 and it lives on one of the 37 islands on the archipelago. The news of positive test results spreads like fire and it raises an eyebrow among the other indigenous tribes on the remote archipelago. The population of Andaman and Nicobar Islands is of 4,00,000. Out of which 2,985 cases of coronavirus have come up. Moreover, there are 41 deaths so far. Health authorities sent a team on Sunday to the Strait Island. The team came through boats riding the choppy seas water to test the people.
Coronavirus Struck The Great Andamanese Tribe
Last week a team of health officials arrive on Strait Island to test the people in a day. There are members of the tribe travels Port Blair for work purposes. As per the doctors, the acquisition of the virus might happen during this process. However, other tribe members do petty jobs in the city. The health team successfully conducts the tests. Avijit Roy, a senior health official says, “They were very co-operative. The team tested 37 samples of the tribe. They were found to be positive and are now admitted in hospitals”.
Keeping the pandemic under control and making sure that it does not spread is a major concern. Dr. Roy says, “We are keeping a close watch on movements. We are also mass testing some of the tribes”. The Andaman is home to five indigenous tribes. Sanjiv Mittal, the senior government official of tribal welfare makes a statement. He says that they are doing all they can to keep the members of the family members healthy and safe. They are trying to keep the situation under control and are also trying to stop the panic.
The Tribes Are Extremely Vulnerable
Living in a totally isolated area makes the tribes extremely vulnerable. Activists and anthropologists say more than 5000 people of the tribe live on the island of British settlers. The British came in the 19th century to settle on these islands. However, most of them were killed while defending their land from the British. And others were eradicated by epidemics such as influenza, measles, and syphilis.
Sophie Grigg, a senior researcher of Survival International, London makes a statement. She says, “ it is extremely alarming that members of the Great Andamanese tribe tests positive. They will all be too aware of the devastating impact of the epidemic that has decimated their people”. The officials are trying to find out a way to minimize the risk of COVID-19. These tribal members have very little immunity. And the officials are trying to maintain social distancing among them.