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This post is also available in (Post também disponível em): Português (Portuguese (Brazil))

Bruno Pacheco – From Cenarium Magazine

MANAUS – Brazil has surpassed the tragic milestone of 1,000 indigenous people killed by Covid-19. According to data from the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (Apib), updated until this Saturday, day 13, there are already 1,005 deaths and 50,545 infected in 163 peoples. The State of Amazonas, to the north of Brazil, leads the rate of deaths and confirmed cases of the disease.

According to Apib, 240 indigenous people were victims of the new coronavirus in the State, 53 in Manaus only and 10 in São Gabriel da Cachoeira. Also, the Amazonas completed one year of the first case of Covid-19 and currently accounts for 330,010 cases and 11,482 deaths among non-indigenous people, according to the Health Surveillance Foundation (FVS-AM).

Apib alerts the Special Secretariat for Indigenous Health (Sesai) about the expansion of the disease in indigenous territories, which reached the region with the largest number of previous peoples in the world: the Vale do Javari. For the organization, the lack of transparency prevents the identification of deaths.

See too: In a moving video, indigenous people cry and demand federal government measures against Covid-19


Sesai and Apib also differ due to the criterion used by the federal government, which considers only those infected who live in demarcated villages or lands, while indigenous entities take into account the infection of indigenous people in urban areas or in non-demarcated lands.

Indigenous leaders point out that the number of cases and deaths could have been avoided, had the federal government not adopted an oppositional policy and followed the measures determined by the Supreme Federal Court (STF) to contain the contagion and deaths by Covid-19 among the traditional peoples.

Affected people

The Xavante and Kokama are the indigenous peoples most affected by the new coronavirus with 68 and 59 deaths respectively. The Terena people, from Mato Grosso do Sul, appear in third place with 58 deaths, but the most surprising numbers refer to indigenous people without identification: 364 in total.

The vice president of the Kokama People’s Federation, the indigenous Milena Kokama, reported that villages are increasingly vulnerable to the disease. The Kokama have shown a commitment to maintaining social isolation and practicing self-protection. However, they face the lack of assistance and the neglect of public policies to deal with the pandemic.

See the Apib numbers here.