Brazil bars Doctors Without Borders COVID-19 help to indigenous villages

BRASILIA (Reuters) - The Brazilian government has not allowed Médecins Sans Frontières to provide assistance to prevent and detect suspected cases of COVID-19 in seven villages of the Terena indigenous tribe in southern Brazil, the medical NGO said on Thursday.

Reuters August 21, 2020 04:10:32 IST
Brazil bars Doctors Without Borders COVID-19 help to indigenous villages

Brazil bars Doctors Without Borders COVID19 help to indigenous villages

BRASILIA (Reuters) - The Brazilian government has not allowed Médecins Sans Frontières to provide assistance to prevent and detect suspected cases of COVID-19 in seven villages of the Terena indigenous tribe in southern Brazil, the medical NGO said on Thursday.

MSF, or Doctors Without Borders, presented a plan to assist the seven communities with about 5,000 inhabitants, adding in a statement that it had been invited to help by tribal leaders.

Instead, the government's indigenous health agency Sesai authorized its own doctors to assist another village with 1,000 inhabitants, where it said COVID-19 cases were more prevalent.

A Sesai statement said that MSF presented an expanded plan for assisting Terena communities that was not authorized because it failed to name the communities and resources to be used.

Indigenous rights organizations have complained that the government has allowed Christian missionaries to work with isolated tribes despite the risk of contagion by outsiders.

The coronavirus pandemic has endangered indigenous communities with no access to healthcare in remote parts of the Amazon and other parts of Brazil whose communal living under large dwellings make social distancing impossible.

Brazil's main indigenous umbrella organization APIB has criticized the government of right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro for denying the gravity of the second worst coronavirus outbreak outside the United States.

According to APIB, 690 indigenous people have died from COVID-19 and 26,443 cases have been confirmed among Brazil's 850,000 indigenous people. Half of Brazil's 300 indigenous tribes have confirmed infections.

MSF said its doctors are fully aware of the need to prevent the spread of contagion in indigenous territories.

"MSF has strict infection prevention and control protocols that it has successfully applied during its work to combat COVID-19 worldwide," the NGO said in a statement.

(Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.