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‘We are not prepared’: Inuit brace for coronavirus to reach remote communities – The Globe and Mail

by ahnationtalk on April 6, 202060 Views

April 5, 2020

Canada’s Inuit leaders are nervously watching the coronavirus creep closer and closer, and hoping they can keep it from reaching their communities, where chronic overcrowding and a lack of medical resources make their people especially vulnerable to an outbreak.

Nunatsiavut, the Inuit self-governing region in northern Labrador, is one of the few places left in Canada without a confirmed case of COVID-19. People there are deeply concerned they would be ill-equipped to handle the virus if it arrives, and are worried it’s only a matter a time before they see their first case.

Chronic housing shortages have inflamed recent outbreaks of tuberculosis in the region, and throughout Canada’s North, and makes Labrador’s Inuit population more at risk to the COVID-19 virus because of TB’s lasting impact on the respiratory and immune systems.

“We are not prepared” is the blunt assessment of Johannes Lampe, president of Nunatsiavut, which includes the coastal communities of Hopedale, Makkovik, Postville, Rigolet and Nain.

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