News

Actions against COVID-19 in the Médio Juruá

Sept. 22, 2020

According to the September 29 Bulletin, 2,134 cases and 17 deaths caused by COVID-19 have been reported to date in the municipality of Carauari. In general, the cases that occurred in rural communities were moderate and recovered without the need for transfer to hospitals in the city. To help curb the spread of COVID-19 in the mid-Juruá region, local government, community leaders and institutions are joining forces. More than two thousand families covered by the campaigns, across the municipalities of Carauari, Itamarati and Juruá, received 70% alcohol, cleaning supplies, food hampers, protective masks and face shields, plus logistical support such as fuel, and provision of boats and crews to safely navigate the meanders of the Juruá River.

Actions carried out in the rural communities follow a testing standard, with the crew performing rapid detection tests for the novel coronavirus. In addition to delivering supplies, training activities were also carried out in collaboration with local health practitioners, including the distribution of informative pamphlets developed by Universidade Estadual do Amazonas (UEA) and Fundação Amazonas Sustentável (FAS). Local seamstresses were encouraged to produce fabric masks for individual protection. These measures are helping to minimize the impacts of the pandemic, which is continuing to directly affect the region's economy through the interruption of activities and production chains, and the need to visit urban centres more frequently.

The network involves many actors, who together provide frequent support to the impacted communities. The action at the frontline is coordinated by the Associação de Produtores Rurais de Carauari (ASPROC) and has the support from several organizations, including the Associação de Moradores Agroextrativistas da Reserva de Desenvolvimento Sustentável Uacari (AMARU), Secretaria Estadual do Meio Ambiente (SEMA/DEMUC), Associação de Mulheres Agroextrativistas do Médio Juruá (ASMAMJ), Cooperativa Mista de Desenvolvimento Sustentável da Reserva do Médio Juruá (CODAEMJ), Associação do Povo Deni do Rio Xeruã (ASPODEX), Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade (ICMBio), Prefeitura Municipal de Carauari, NATURA, Operação Amazônia Nativa (OPAN), Instituto Juruá (IJ), Fundação Amazonas Sustentável (FAS), SITAWI, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz), Fundação Banco do Brasil, Coca-Cola, Lojas Americanas, Fundação Avina, Serviço Florestal Norte Americano e Fundação Nacional do Índio (FUNAI).

To join this network, and contribute to actions against COVID-19 in rural communities, enabling the continuity of these actions, donate here. Instituto Juruá ensures that your donation reaches directly to vulnerable families, according to priority needs. Every contribution is welcome!

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Photograph: Eliane Soares

Pirarucu management in a pandemic scenario

September is the traditional month for harvesting pirarucu (Arapaima sp.) in the mid-Juruá, but this year some adaptations were necessary to ensure safety during the pandemic. There are an estimated 600 people from rural communities involved in the annual pirarucu harvest, plus 15 members of the technical team. A fishing protocol for the COVID-19 scenario was discussed with specialists in order to guarantee safety conditions for all involved, as well as ensuring the highest quality of the harvested fish. The Municipal Health Secretariat and local leaders also participated in the process of consolidating and validating the protocol. Among the new measures, it was decided to test 100% of those in the fishery management team 24 hours before fishing activity commenced, and to create a reserve team in case any positive tests were detected for the novel coronavirus.

Before the fishing activity, the fishers carry out the tests, applied by a technical team from the Municipal Health Department, who also accompanied the fishing teams to assist and monitor the agreed protocol. A network of organizations also participated in the donation of tests and protective masks. Approximately 850 rapid tests for COVID-19 were made available by OPAN and the Municipal Health Secretariat to ensure the testing of all Management participants.

The network of partners, coordinated by the Associação dos produtores rurais de Carauari (ASPROC), has been closely monitoring all the procedures carried out in the frontline, from the testing of the fishers to the fishing and commercialization of arapaima. In this context, we can ensure that this important activity is done in the safest way possible.

By Clara Machado


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