Coronavirus strikes India’s remote Andamans archipelago : Read details

A remote village of Andaman and nicobar Islands has recorded it’s first case of Coronavirus.

Reportedly four members of Greater Andamanese Tribe have tested Covid19 positive. Among all four only two have been quarantined in a care centre and rest two have been admitted to the hospital.

The Greater Andamanese Tribe comprised of 53 people only and they live on one of the 37 populated islands in the coral reef- fringed archipelago. Total of 2,985 Covid19 cases have been recorded with 41 deaths on the Eastern coast of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. First infection has been detected in June.

Senior Health Official Dr. Avijit Roy said, “The first Covid-19 cases among the endangered Greater Andamanese tribe were detected last week when all its 53 members were tested for the infection at Strait Island, near the capital Port Blair, where they live.”

“Many of the tribe’s members travel between Port Blair and their secluded island, and may have contracted the infection in the process. A few tribe members even do petty jobs in the city.” He said.

Many tribal members travel between you the Port Blair and various other Islands for work which could be the possible reason of the virus spread in the archipelago.

Dr Roy ensured that making archipelago Coronavirus free will now be his topmost priority with indigenious tribe’s help.  The Andamans is home to five vulnerable tribes: the Jarawas, North Sentinelese, Great Andamanese, Onge and Shompen.

He also ensured that they are keeping an eye on people’s movement from one Island to another and as well as on mass testings. The dwindling numbers of the indigenious tribe’s are because of the long term impacting diseases introduced by their occupation as well as per reported by a London based survival International, which works for the rights of The Greater Andamanese.

Reports of Survival International
Andaman and nicobar
Credits : survival International

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“None of the tribes have the immunity to fight it”.The indigenious tribes Andaman and Nicobar Islands such as Jarawas, The Great Andamanese and Onges are the most vulnerable tribes to Covid19.

“It is extremely alarming that members of the Great Andamanese tribe tested positive for Covid-19. They will be all too aware of the devastating impact of epidemics that have decimated their people,” Sophie Grigg, senior researcher for the group said.

According to the reports on Andaman and Nicobar Islands by survival International, “The Great Andamanese are the small group of just over 50 people, number lowered down from 5000 since British rule. They suffer from long term impact of diseases introduced by this brutal occupation.”

“Tuberculosis and alcoholism are widespread making them vulnerable to Covid19. In April this year, Licho last speaker of the Same Great Andamanese language, died after suffering for years from multiple health problems.”

Also Read : Coronavirus hits Great Andamanese tribe