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Andaman & Nicobar Islands: 10 members of Great Andamanese tribe test positive for coronavirus

Ten members of the Great Andamanese tribe in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands have tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday. According to reports, two have been hospitalised.

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
New Delhi Updated on: August 28, 2020 11:08 IST
A motorist drives along the sea shore with his family in Port Blair, in India's Andaman and Nicobar
Image Source : AP

A motorist drives along the seashore with his family in Port Blair, in India's Andaman and Nicobar Islands archipelago, Saturday, Sept. 8, 2007. Four members of a small tribe in the remote Andaman and Nicobar Islands have tested positive for the coronavirus. An Indian health official says the four are among the 37 members of the Great Andamanese tribe who live on Strait Island. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi, File)

Ten members of the Great Andamanese tribe in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands have tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday. According to reports, two have been hospitalised. Out of 37 samples tested, four more from the Great Andamanese tribe were found to be positive, Health Department Deputy Director and Nodal Officer Avijit Roy told PTI.

Meanwhile, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands have so far reported 2,945 cases of the coronavirus, including 37 deaths and 2,231 recoveries.

The official found out about the infection when they were sending the tribe members to the Strait Islands after coronavirus testing, according to News 18's reports. 

According to Scroll's report, only 56 members of the Greater Andamanese tribe are alive which is reduced from over 5,000 in the 1850s. 

“We are taking all precautionary measures to protect these Vulnerable Tribal Groups from the Covid-19 pandemic,” Union Minister of Tribal Affairs Arjun Munda told News18. “Officials are regularly in touch with the local administration in Port Blair [the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands]. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah are very keen to act for the welfare of the indigenous tribal group in the islands.”

“It is extremely alarming that members of the Great Andamanese tribe tested positive for Covid-19,” Survival International Senior Researcher Sophie Grig said. “They will be all too aware of the devastating impact of epidemics that have decimated their people. The Andaman authorities must act urgently to prevent the virus reaching more Great Andamanese and to prevent infection in the other tribes.”

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