Isolation not enough to save Amazon indigenous village from COVID-19

Bruno Kelly

TRES UNIDOS, BRAZIL (Reuters) - Tres Unidos, an indigenous village in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest, locked out all visitors, hoping that isolation would keep it safe. And yet the new coronavirus still came.

It arrived, most likely up the Rio Negro, the giant snaking river that connects Tres Unidos with the Amazon’s largest city, Manaus - five hours away by boat.
The rivers, the lifeblood of these remote communities, are now also bringing disease. The dots of confirmed coronavirus deaths on a map published by Brazil’s government follow the rivers in these remote parts.
Waldemir da Silva, the village chief better known here as Tuxuau Kambeba, said the virus came quietly, as if carried on the wind.
“The virus is treacherous,” he said, wearing a white face mask and a wooden headdress.

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