Brazil Indigenous group celebrates 6 months without COVID-19
The Tembé are the western branch of the Tenetehara ethnicity, located in the Alto Rio Guama Indigenous territory on the western edge of Para state. The virus has infiltrated the lands of dozens of Indigenous groups after they came to nearby cities to trade, buy staples and collect emergency welfare payments from the government.The hundreds of Tembé people of the Cajueiro, Tekohaw and Canindé villages locked their gate and allowed people out only in case of emergency, while restricting entry to agents from the federal Indigenous health care provider, SESAI. Now, after the number of daily COVID-19 cases and deaths in Para has finally plunged, the Tembé have begun believing they will emerge from the pandemic unscathed.
“We didn’t go to the city, we didn’t go to other villages. We remained in quarantine. We got through, we are still getting through,” said Sérgio Muxi Tembé, the leader of the Tekohow village. “We are doing a small commemoration because of that, and it’s because of that we are happy that today we do not have any cases.”