Complete Epidemiological Bulletin (updated until 07/29/20)

The Complete Epidemiological Bulletin that we present now, with updated data until July 29, 2020, brings a total of 1,068 confirmed cases of Covid-19 among indigenous peoples in Maranhão. Following the perspective of continuing to qualify the cases, we take as a basis the epidemiological bulletins from the Municipal Health Departments (SEMUS) of 11 municipalities in Maranhão that focus on Indigenous Lands and that present, in their bulletins, confirmed cases of the new coronavirus among indigenous people.

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In the table we can see that the highest incidence of confirmed cases of the new coronavirus is found in the temptation / Guajajara people. In principle, the high cases of contagion among them could be explained by the greater quantitative population in the state, which, according to the data from the last demographic census, counted 23,830 (IBGE / 2010). However, these figures hide the complex picture of interethnic relations, territorial losses and internal and external conflicts, due to the use of natural resources, as well as the strategies of survival and insertion in the capitalist economy, situations that increase the social vulnerability in which they find themselves. . TI Araribóia, for example, undergoes a continuous process of invasion of all sorts of people who try to make a profit with the use of the existing land and natural resources, or even hunt and fish to survive. All of these cases, ranging from the historical violation of indigenous rights to the survival of peripheral social groups, put indigenous people at risk. Considering that all are potential agents that transmit the virus, this effect of deforestation and invasion, in the midst of the health crisis triggered by the new coronavirus, becomes a public health issue.

In the Araribóia Indigenous Land the total number of confirmed cases until July 29, 2020 is 231 indigenous, 81 of which were notified by SEMUS in Amarante do Maranhão and 150 by SEMUS in the municipality of Arame. In our last report there were 78 and 143 confirmed cases in each municipality, respectively.

Terra Indígena Rio Pindaré presented, in the last bulletin presented by Rede (CO) VIda of July 9, 2020, a number of 55 confirmed cases. As of July 27, 2020, there were 40 active cases. Two days after this registration, on July 29, 2020, the number of assets reduced to 06, a significant number of recovered cases.

The Bacurizinho, Morro Branco and Urucu-Juruá TIs, which are located in the municipality of Grajaú, together show an increase of sixty-three (63) cases. It went from fifty-six (56) confirmed cases, on July 9, 2020, to one hundred and nineteen (119) confirmed cases on July 29, 2020. However, in the previous bulletin ( https: //www.redecovida2020. com / 09-07 ) it was possible to view the villages in these lands that were being infected by the virus, with fifty-two (52) cases at TI Bacurizinho, two (02) at TI Morro Branco and two (02) at TI Urucu-Juruá . Now, in this bulletin, that possibility has been interrupted by a new methodology for the registration of confirmed cases of Covid-19 adopted by the Municipal Health Secretariat of that municipality, which removes the villages and starts to record the cases of contamination by the virus, among indigenous people of the region. municipality, by the category “Indigenous Area”.

This measure taken by SEMUS / Grajaú, according to information from the secretariat itself, was motivated by a decision by the DSEI / MA and passed on to it, possibly with the purpose of not presenting the situation of the villages and their respective levels of contamination by the new coronavirus. If this administrative interference by the DSEI / MA finds support in the SESAI determinations, the position adopted by it as a federal health unit becomes clearer. Since the beginning of the pandemic and the initial data records, the DSEI / MA has been restricting the information regarding the qualification of the data in the epidemiological bulletins by recording numbers and not the villages, the affected peoples and the TIs. With the new methodology adopted by SEMUS / Grajaú, it became public that DSEI / MA uses its power, as a federal health unit, to restrict information, previously made available by the municipalities and which allowed the identification of the people and the indigenous land from a search for the list of villages.

The Canabrava / Guajajara TI, the most populous of the TIs in Maranhão [1] , has the largest number of confirmed cases among the Tenthar / Guajajara people. There are a total of 516 confirmed cases, 203 in the municipality of Barra do Corda and 313 in the municipality of Jenipapo dos Vieiras. The municipality of Barra do Corda does not specify cases by village, IT or people since the beginning of its case records from Covid-19 among indigenous people, that is, it has already used the same methodology now adopted from the beginning of its case records. by SEMUS / Grajaú. Jenipapo dos Vieiras presents the data by village, as listed in the table above, and counts 52 villages with confirmed cases of Covid-19, five of them registered for the first time.

In the Alto Turiaçu TI, the contamination numbers among the Ka'apor people remained the same as in the last bulletin. The municipality of Centro do Guilherme has 69 confirmed cases and the municipality of Maranhãozinho, 52 cases, a total of 121 confirmed cases.

At TI Governador, where the Pukobyê / Gavião live, we recorded one more case, compared to the July 9, 2020 bulletin, totaling 12 cases.

At TI Kanela, we had a significant number of recoveries among the Ramkokamekra / Canela. On July 9, 2020, there were 32 active cases in the village Escalvado; on July 29, only 04 cases were active. Aldeia Velha, which on July 9 registered 6 cases, on July 29 did not register any active cases. Therefore, out of a total of 38 confirmed cases in the last bulletin, 34 were recovered, with only 4 cases now registered as active. At TI Porquinhos, the number of recovered was 63 indigenous people of the Apaniekra / Canela people out of a total of 64 active in the last bulletin of July 9. In this case, on the 29th of July, only 01 active cases were registered. It should be noted that among the SEMUS that bring data from Covid-19 among indigenous peoples, only those from the municipalities of Fernando Falcão and Bom Jardim, mentioned above, present in their epidemiological bulletins the numbers of “recovered”, which makes it possible to monitor, even in numbers, the degree of lethality of Covid-19 in these TIs.

Among the Krikati people, from TI Krikati, we saw an increase in the number of cases. In the Campo Alegre village, contamination cases increased from 04 to 06 confirmed cases; in São José village, from 19 to 23 confirmed cases. In the village of Recantos dos Cocais, where the tryhar / Guajajara live, the number remained the same: 02 confirmed cases. In the village of Nova Jerusalem, municipality of Sítio Novo, the number of confirmed and recovered remains the same since our first mapping, on May 31, 2020, 27 cases.

This situation of relative “stabilization” in the daily cases of Covid-19 recorded among the Krikati of the Jerusalem village and the Ka'apor of the TI Alto Turiaçu, may be the result of some factors resulting from the indigenous protagonism itself when adopting measures of distance, hygiene and restriction of ritual parties that concentrate a large number of individuals in the communities. But it may also be due to an absence of tests to prove Covid-19 in indigenous territories. In the latter case, this “stabilization” would be false and dangerous, insofar as it would underreport the cases of the virus among peoples.

The graph below gives a dimension of the number of cases confirmed by indigenous people in the state. We took as our initial milestone our first Epidemiological Bulletin of May 31, 2020 and extended it until the date of July 29, 2020. In the graph, we reiterate the number of Covid-19 among the tryhar / Guajajara, highlighting, further, that the numbers decreasing are due to the recovered cases.

[1] According to DSEI / MA (2019) there are 9,978 people.

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In the table, presented in the initial part of the Bulletin, we bring for the second time the number of deaths, based on data from the (CO) VIDA Network and the Maranhão Static Committee, in addition to the information acquired by the indigenous communities, particularly the Tenthar / Guajajara and the Krikati. On our Instagram account (@ rede.covida) we have been carrying out the work of publicizing an Indigenous Memorial of the deaths of the deceased by Covid-19, as well as, the elders who died during the pandemic, due to the fact that we identified that the vast majority of the deceased they are elderly. In Maranhão, unfortunately, until the present date of publication of this Bulletin, we have the record of 18 deaths of indigenous (ã) elders. It is important to highlight that we bring the confirmation of the death of an Akroá Gamela, a people who are in the process of fighting for the demarcation of their territory in the Baixada Maranhense region.

In the table below, we systematize deaths by Covid-19, highlighting the number of deaths by people and IT. It is worth mentioning that some data presented by the Static Committee, via CIMI, are blank with the description of death or with the information “with symptoms of Covid-19”, indicating that, possibly, the cause of death was not confirmed via testing. In other data, we maintain a dialogue with the indigenous people in the respective TIs and villages, in order to expand the information.

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The number of deaths has increased significantly. In our previous Bulletin, of July 9, 2020, we recorded five (05) deaths in two (02) TIs. We emphasize that it was only because of the work of the Static Committee of Maranhão that it was possible to have access to this information and thus be able to publicize it. We reiterate the urgency of an indigenous policy to tackle the health issue experienced by indigenous peoples in Maranhão, due to the new coronavirus.