14 C
New York
Sunday, September 20, 2020

Brazil indigenous leader Aritana dead from COVID-19

- Advertisement -

GOIANIA, Brazil, (Reuters) – Chief Aritana Yawalapiti, one of Brazil’s most influential indigenous leaders who led the people of Upper Xingu in central Brazil and helped create an indigenous park there, died on Wednesday from COVID-19, his family said in a statement.

His death underscores the threat that Brazil’s indigenous people are facing from the novel coronavirus pandemic that has spread to their vulnerable communities, infected thousands and killed hundreds.

Aritana, 71, was rushed to a Goiânia hospital two weeks ago in a risky 9-hour drive from the western state of Mato Grosso, breathing with the aid of oxygen tanks so that he could get to an intensive care unit. He died at the hospital from lung complications caused by the disease.

His doctor Celso Correia Batista, who serves the indigenous people in the Xingu region, first drove Aritana 10 hours to the small Mato Grosso town of Canarana, where his lung condition deteriorated.

With no ICU and unable to find a doctor willing to transport Aritana by air, Batista decided to drive on to Goiânia.

One of the most traditional indigenous leaders in Central Brazil, Aritana led the people of the Upper Xingu and was one of the last speakers of the language of his tribe, Yawalapiti.

Aritana worked with the Villas-Bôas brothers to create the Xingu National Park, the first vast protected indigenous area in the Amazon where 16 tribes live.

According to Brazil’s largest indigenous umbrella organization APIB, 631 indigenous people have died from COVID-19 and there have been 22,325 confirmed cases in the community so far.

The Ministry of Health reports a smaller number of 294 deaths among indigenous people and 16,509 confirmed cases, because it does not count indigenous people who have left their lands and moved to urban areas.

Half of Brazil’s 300 indigenous tribes have confirmed infections.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest news

Guyana: Two dead, five injured in Lusignan Prison protest

– Home Affairs, Health Ministers came under attack during visit By Rabindra Rooplall TWO inmates at the Lusignan Prison Holding Bay were shot dead and five...

Teen who fatally stabbed classmate over love rival is sentenced to 27 years

A Michigan teenager who fatally stabbed a high school classmate during an argument over a boy was sentenced to 27 years in prison. Tanaya Lewis,...

Barbados: Accused denies murdering Guyanese

Accused Andrew Harclyde Pollard could not remember the day or month he started “talking to” Onicka Gulliver and he denied going to her house...

Trump to shut off TikTok, WeChat to new U.S. users tomorrow

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – The Trump administration will ban WeChat and video-sharing app TikTok from U.S. app stores starting tomorrow night, a move that...
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Related news

Russia seals another deal to supply and test its coronavirus vaccine abroad

MOSCOW, (Reuters) – Russia’s sovereign wealth fund will supply 100 million doses of its potential coronavirus vaccine to Indian drug company Dr Reddy’s...

Guyana: Two more die from COVID-19, 41 new cases recorded in Region Four

The Ministry of Health yesterday disclosed that two persons who were infected with the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) died on Monday while undergoing treatment. According...

Two more COVID-19-related deaths push Jamaica’s total to 42

(Jamaica Observer) A Corporate Area schoolteacher is heaping praises on members of the local medical community today after a frightening brush with what she...

India reports almost 80,000 deaths from Covid-19

New Delhi, Sep 14 (Prensa Latina) Covid-19 positive cases increased in India to 4. 846,427 while deaths due to the pandemic already amount to...