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Teenage boy living with indigenous Amazonian tribe dies after contracting coronavirus

The 15 year-old was hospitalised in the northern state of Rorima last week.

Image: Shutterstock/Ammit Jack

A TEENAGE BOY living with an indigenous tribe in Brazil has died after contracting the coronavirus.

The 15-year-old, the first member of the Yanomami tribe to be diagnosed with the virus, was taken into an intensive care unit a week ago in the northern state of Roraima.

He died of severe respiratory complications on Thursday night, the Brazilian health ministry said in a statement.

His death has raised fears for the Amazon tribe, which is known for its vulnerability to disease.

A Yanomami rights group said the boy had come into contact with a number of other indigenous people after he began showing symptoms.

The Hutukara Association blamed “inadequate medical care” for the boy’s death, saying that he went more than two weeks without a proper diagnosis from the time he first went to the hospital with respiratory symptoms.

The group also called on the authorities to track down those who had been infected to help them undergo testing and self-isolation.

It urged the government to crack down on illegal gold miners on indigenous lands, believed to be the source of the contagion.

The boy was studying to become a teacher in the indigenous reserve of Boqueirao, said the association revealed.

He is the third indigenous person in Brazil to die after contracting the novel coronavirus, according to newspaper Globo. The others were from the Borari and Muru ethnic groups.

 - © AFP 2020

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