Port Blair, Aug. 21: The scariest situation for the aboriginal tribes of the Andaman Islands has turned into a reality, with as many as six members of Great Andamanese tribe testing positive to COVID-19.

Sources confirm that around six have tested positive and out of them two are now admitted in the isolation ward of the GB Pant Hospital in Port Blair. It is also learnt that an AAJVS staff (Tribal Welfare Staff) who was on duty at GB Pant too had tested positive to the virus.

Experts opine that the situation has arisen due to the carelessness of AAJVS which is entrusted to look after the welfare of the aboriginal tribe of Andaman Islands. “There should have been a strict vigil on the movement of the few Great Andamanese tribe who remain and are already on the verge of extinction”, said an expert on condition of anonymity.

Earlier, it was reported that as many as five AAJVS staffs, entrusted to look after the welfare of the Ang (Jarawa) of Middle Andaman had tested positive to the virus. Though there have been claims by the Andaman & Nicobar Administration for disinfecting the field offices and moving the Angs towards the West Coast, but this does not seem to be a foolproof arrangement. On Tuesday, eight local fishermen had been arrested for venturing inside the Jarawa Tribal Reserve.

With a surge in COVID-19 cases in the Andaman Islands and increase in the number of deaths due to the virus, the possibility of the virus creeping into the reserves of the endangered aboriginal tribes cannot be ruled out. The situation calls for a high vigil and extra caution, as a single mistake could mean the beginning of the end of the tribes who have been surviving in isolation in the Andaman Islands for thousands of years.