Twenty-one more members of tribal group test COVID-19 positive
Twenty-one more members of the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG) in Odisha were afflicted with coronavirus, taking their number to 45, the official sources said on Sunday. "While the number of PVTG people infected with COVID-19 was 21 till Friday, 10 more members of the Bonda tribe and 14 of the Dangaria Kandha community tested positive for the coronavirus since Saturday," officials said.
What is Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group?
The PVTG is a classification by the Central government for tribes based on their relative physical isolation, declining population, low levels of literacy, and pre-agricultural stage of economy such as hunting, food gathering, and shifting cultivation. Before 2016, PVTGs were known as Primitive Tribal Groups.
Dangaria Kandha tribe lives in Niyamgiri Hills
"A total of 19 people belonging to the Dangaria Kandha tribe living at the Pakeri village in Rayagada District are now affected by the disease," the officials said. The tribe lives in Niyamgiri Hills on the border of Rayagada and Koraput districts, while mostly residing on the hilltops and rarely coming to the plains.
Rapid response team is closely monitoring health condition of patients
A report from the Malkangiri District said that 10 more members of the Bonda tribe have tested positive for COVID-19, taking the number of such patients to 12. Some of them have already recovered and others are in home isolation. "Health condition of the affected persons is being closely monitored by our rapid response team and required medicines are being given," an official said.
Bonda tribe recorded first case of coronavirus in April
The official said that the first case of COVID-19 among the Bonda tribe was recorded on April 26. Asked how the Bonda tribe got infected with the coronavirus, the official said, "After the Odisha government closed the weekly markets, a group of Bondas had visited a nearby market at Anakadil in Andhra Pradesh. It is suspected that they got infected from there."
Members of PVTG remained untouched during first wave of coronavirus
"Apart from Bonda and Dongoria Kondha, COVID-19 cases have also been detected in other PVTG communities," said the Project Director of Odisha PVTG Empowerment and Livelihood Improvement Programme, P Arthanari. "Members of PVTG had remained untouched by the virus during the first wave of the pandemic last year," he said. The PVTG is known for a healthy lifestyle.