Coronavirus Infection Reaches Remote Andaman Tribe, Worrying the Government

One of the most remote tribes living in the Andamans have recorded traces of the coronavirus infection with five members having tested positive.

Isolated Sentinelese trib |

The coronavirus pandemic has been wrecking havoc throughout the world and has already claimed lives at an unprecedented scale. As per the latest reports over 24,011,502 people across the world have tested positive for coronavirus. The grasp and reach of the virus has become so intense that even a particularly remote and solitary tribe living in the Andamans has recorded signs of the infection. Five people from the Great Andamanese tribe which is considered to be one of the most vulnerable tribal groups in the world have tested positive for the coronavirus. This is a particularly worrying news for the authorities because the tribe is particularly vulnerable and this is the first set of cases being reported from the region.

The Deputy Director of Health and Nodal Officer for Covid-19, Port Blair told The Hindu, “We have shifted all the five to an isolation facility in Port Blair. Of these five persons, five are male and one a woman. They are all cooperating with us and are not showing any serious health complications.”

The authorities found out about the outreach of the infection among the members of the tribe when compulsive testing of all the members of the tribe was carried out over the last couple of days. The authorities fear that the infection may have spread among the members of the tribe because many of them travel to Port Blair and other nearby areas for work and they may have carried the infection back to the island with them.  The tribe speaks in the Jeru dialect and have a total of 51 members as per the records available for 2012. The other tribes that reside in the Andamans are the Jarawas, Onges, Shompens and North Sentinelese. 

The administration of Port Blair is making sure that all the members of the tribal community residing in the Andamans are protected and the spread of the virus is controlled as much as possible. Since tribes such as the Shopen and the North Sentinelese live in isolation it has become very difficult to reach out to them but testing has been arranged for members of other tribes such as the Onge.

As per the reports made public by the Andaman Nicobar Island, the total number coronavirus positive cases on the Islands is 2,945 and more than 37 people have lost their lives so far.


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