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DSEI / Maranhão: epicenter of Covid-19 cases

The Coordination of Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon (COIAB) records in its social networks - Instagram, Twitter and Facebook - the confirmed cases of Covid-19 among indigenous peoples in the Brazilian Amazon, from the Special Indigenous Sanitary Districts - DSEIs [1] , drawing a sort of "ranking" among those with the highest incidence of confirmed cases.

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In the table provided below, we systematize and compare the positions assumed by DSEI / Maranhão in relation to the other federal health responsibility units. From the highlights (in yellow), which bring the cases confirmed by the DSEI / MA, it is possible to observe the exchange of positions that the same assumes with the other districts until reaching the leadership of the cases of Covid-19 among the indigenous peoples in Brazil , on 06.07.2020.

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[1] In Brazil, there are thirty-four (34) DSEIs under the coordination of the Special Secretariat for Indigenous Health (SESAI), created with the objective of coordinating and executing the National Policy for the Attention to Health of Indigenous Peoples (PNASPI).


The first numbers registered by COIAB, related to the DSEI / MA, point out that it is already a reference in high numbers of confirmed cases in relation to the other 33 (thirty-three) DSEIs existing in the Brazilian territory. There are sixty-eight (68) cases on May 28, 2020, occupying the third (3rd) place in numbers of confirmed cases. Soon after, on the date of May 31, 2020, it occupies the fourth (4th) place, with a number of seventy-six (76) cases and on June 2nd, 2020 it falls to the fifth (5th) position, with 90 cases. Then, on June 5th, 2020, the number of confirmed cases increases to one hundred and twenty (120) and DSEI / MA returns to occupy the third (3rd) place.

Between June 7, 09, 12 and 14, 2020, the DSEI / MA transits between the third (3rd) and fourth (4th) places in the data recorded by COIAB, with the respective numbers of confirmed cases: 131, 131, 200 and 216. Until then, the DSEI Alto Rio Solimões is considered the epicenter of confirmed cases of Covid-19 among indigenous peoples, since the first COIAB reports, with numbers ranging from three hundred to almost five hundred cases (219, 351, 407, 441, 448, 493, 495) in the periods from April 28 to June 14, 2020. Other DSEIs that present high rates of confirmed cases are: Manaus / AM, Guamá Tocantins / PA, Amapá and Norte do Pará / AP and Alto Rio Negro / AM.

Between June 18 and 30, 2020, the cases confirmed in the DSEI / MA fire significantly to the point that, among the Districts, it occupies the second (2nd) place with the respective numbers of confirmed cases: 380, 443, 466, 509, 543 and 654. On July 3, 2020, COIAB records in its report that the DSEI / MA presents a total of seven hundred and seventy-seven (777) confirmed cases of Covid-19. On that date, Maranhão has nine (09) fewer cases than the DSEI of the Upper Rio Solimões, still the epicenter of Covid-19 cases among indigenous peoples, with a number of seven hundred and eighty-six (786) Confirmed cases.

On July 6, 2020, DSEI / MA registered eight hundred and sixty-eight (868) confirmed cases and took the place of Covid-19's epicenter among indigenous peoples in Brazil. It remains in that place until July 17 - the date of the last monitoring carried out by Rede (CO) VIDA with the data made available by the COIAB website - with the following numbers of confirmed cases: 947 (07/09/20), 1,028 ( 07/14/20) and 1,118 (07/17/20).


The speed with which the Covid-19 cases are impacting indigenous peoples in Maranhão exposes the fragility of the current indigenous policy to face the varied set of problems and difficulties experienced in the daily lives of indigenous peoples, especially those of indigenous health. In addition to the delay in planning and executing a federal emergency plan with effective measures to prevent and combat the pandemic in indigenous territories, SESAI, through the DSEI-MA, has coerced municipalities to not report in detail the confirmed cases of indigenous people in their epidemiological bulletins. It remains to be seen, who is interested in this concealment of information?

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