The Covid-19 pandemic has struck a remote tribe in India's Andamans archipelago as ten members of the Greater Andamanese have tested positive over the past month.
Four of them living on a remote island were found to be infected last week, and six others who lived in a city tested positive a month ago, reports the BBC.
The Greater Andamanese are believed to have a population of just over 50, and mostly live on one of the 37 islands in the coral reef-fringed archipelago.
The eastern archipelago of Andamans and Nicobar has recorded 2,985 Covid-19 cases and 41 deaths since its first infection was detected in early June.
The first Covid-19 cases among the endangered Greater Andamanese tribe living on Strait Island near the capital Port Blair were detected last week when all its 53 members were tested for the infection, senior health official Dr Avijit Roy said.
Health and emergency workers rode the choppy sea water in boats to the island last week to test the tribe in one day.
"They were all very cooperative," Roy said.
Two of the infected members of the tribe have been admitted to hospital, while the remaining two have been quarantined in a care centre.
Roy said six other members of the tribe who had "been living and working in the city for a long time" had been found to be infected with the virus last month. All of them have recovered from the disease.
Many of the tribe's members travel between Port Blair and their secluded island, and may have contracted the infection in the process, he said. A few tribe members even do petty jobs in the city.
Roy said that making sure the pandemic does not spread among the archipelago's other indigenous tribes was now a main priority.
"We are keeping a close watch on movements and mass testing some of the tribes," he said.
The Andamans is home to five vulnerable tribes: the Jarawas, North Sentinelese, Great Andamanese, Onge and Shompen.