Indigenous people around the world are being especially impacted by Covid-19. The Navajo Nation in the western United States has reported 5,533 cases to date, and an infection rate five times that of the US average nationally. In Brazil, at least 332 Covid-19 deaths and 7,208 cases have been reported across 110 indigenous communities.
Many of those dying are community elders, also meaning loss of tribal knowledge of history, culture and natural medicine.
The Covid-19 virus is spread into these communities by miners, loggers and health workers. Limited access to water for washing hands, and lack of easy access to health care and intensive care beds, has increased vulnerability. And while the world’s attention is focused elsewhere, the destruction of their living environments by deforestation, mining and dam construction continues.
As of today, the total number of confirmed cases in the 87 countries visited is 3,518,597 (UN World Health Organisation). All but 3 of these countries have reported cases, and all but 9 at least 1 death. 211,249 people are known to have died in these countries ‘visited’ to date, although even a brief review of the statistics suggests real numbers are distorted due to differential access to testing. Globally over 9.4 million cases have been reported worldwide, with 482,730 deaths. Behind each of these numbers are human lives lost and changed forever.
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