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First Indigenous Person Infected with Coronavirus in Brazil


A child flies a kite atop a pedestrian bridge over Niemeyer Avenue in the Vidigal slum during the COVID-19 outbreak in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 1, 2020.
A child flies a kite atop a pedestrian bridge over Niemeyer Avenue in the Vidigal slum during the COVID-19 outbreak in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 1, 2020.

Officials in Brazil say the first indigenous person in the South American nation to test positive for the coronavirus is in isolation with her family.

Authorities in Brazil say the 20-year-old woman, who is from the Kokama ethnic group in the Amazon rainforest, worked with a doctor who tested positive for the virus last week after returning from vacation.

A spokesman for Brazil's Indigenous Health unit said Wednesday that she showed no symptoms of the virus, which has infected 6,836 people across Brazil, the nation with the highest infection rate in Latin America. So far the disease claimed the lives of 241 people.

The French News Press (AFP) says 12 indigenous patients and 14 other people who worked with the infected doctor are awaiting coronavirus test results.

Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta said the health of Brazil's indigenous people is a big concern because their communal lifestyle may help spread the virus.

Mandetta said indigenous leaders are already quarantined for two weeks when they return from overseas trips to avoid bringing outside diseases into their communities.

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