Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda on Wednesday expressed happiness after six members of the dwindling Great Andamanese tribe, who tested positive for coronavirus, recovered and returned to their island in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago. "It is indeed my pleasure to inform you that six members of a vulnerable tribal group from Andaman and Nicobar Islands who tested positive and were undergoing treatment, have recovered and returned to their Island. God bless them with many more years of healthy life,” he posted on Twitter.
There are only 59 surviving members of the Great Andamanese tribe, all of them on Strait Island in the archipelago. After six members of the tribe, who had travelled to Port Blair, the regions’ capital, for work, tested positive for the virus, a health team travelled to Strait Island last month to carry out tests of the remaining members.
Out of 37 samples tested, four more from the tribe were found to be positive, Health Department Deputy Director and Nodal Officer Avijit Roy had told PTI.
Three COVID-19 positive members of the tribe had recovered earlier. There are six notified Scheduled Tribes in the archipelago — Nicobarese, Great Andamanese, Jarawa, Sentinelese, Onge and Shompen. Barring Nicobarese, all are recognised as particularly vulnerable tribal groups, characterised by declining or stagnant population, low level of literacy, pre-agricultural level of technology and economic backwardness.