- The Navajo Nation reported its first case of COVID-19, or Dikos Ntsaaígíí-19, some 51 days after Arizona did.
- But since its first cases, infection and death rates have surged on the reservation.
- On a per-capita basis, the Nation's infection and death rates are 10 times higher than those in neighboring Arizona.
- Officials have pointed to limited resources and existing financial, health, and insurance issues as complicating factors for the Indigenous community in the coronavirus pandemic.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
The Navajo Nation has seen a sharp uptick in infections and deaths from COVID-19, or , making its health crisis far more severe than Arizona's.
2020欧洲杯夺冠热门The Nation did not have a confirmed case of the disease until March 17, some 51 days after Arizona confirmed its first case, .
But infections and deaths in the Indigenous community of , which has of land across Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico, have since outpaced Arizona's. On a per-capita basis, the Nation's infection and death rates are 10 times higher than those in the Grand Canyon State.
As of April 18, the Navajo Nation 1,197 cases of COVID-19, and 44 deaths.
2020欧洲杯夺冠热门Its per-capita infection and death rates are 0.68% and 0.02%, respectively.
Of Arizona's , 4,933 are sick and 184 have died, .
2020欧洲杯夺冠热门That puts the Grand Canyon State's infection and death rates at 0.067% and 0.002% apiece.
2020欧洲杯夺冠热门The nation's number of deaths is also more than 13 US states combined, . The toll is also more than 4.4 times higher than those of its neighboring states — Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico — combined.
American Indians and Alaska Natives have a disproportionately higher chance of living in poverty, being uninsured, and having underlying health complications, .
2020欧洲杯夺冠热门Those disparities exacerbate the sky-high rates of coronavirus in the Nation, according to Kevin Allis, chief executive of the National Congress of American Indians.
2020欧洲杯夺冠热门"When you look at the health disparities in Indian Country — high rates of diabetes, cancer, heart disease, asthma and then you combine that with the overcrowded housing situation where you have a lot of people in homes with an elder population who may be exposed or carriers — this could be like a wildfire on a reservation and get out of control in a heartbeat," Allis in early April.
Officials have rushed to treat the crisis, but tight resources mean the Nation is "losing lives."
Since the first case was reported, Navajo officials have worked swiftly to redress the crisis. The same day the reservation confirmed its first case, it began outfitting hospitals to treat incoming coronavirus patients.
"We basically changed our hospital from an acute care hospital and an ambulatory care clinic to one that could take care of respiratory care patients," Dr. Diana Hu, a pediatrician at one of the reservation hospitals, . "And that transition happened over a period of about seven days."
2020欧洲杯夺冠热门The Nation previously reported it , 13 ICU beds, 52 isolation rooms, and 28 ventilators.
2020欧洲杯夺冠热门The Indian Health Service, which serves 2.5 million American Indians and Alaska Natives, has 71 ventilators and 33 intensive-care unit beds at its 24 hospitals in the Nation, .
2020欧洲杯夺冠热门As the medical supply lags behind demand, officials ordered all Diné, or Navajos, to wear protective masks in public, on Sunday.
"Some individuals think we're using scare tactics or extreme measures," President Jonathan Nez told the Associated Press, "but we are losing lives here on the Navajo Nation, and I'm going to do everything I can to help save lives."
2020欧洲杯夺冠热门The reservation has received aid and . But the Diné need more than philanthropic or piecemeal aid, according to Nez.
The Navajo Nation is awaiting emergency funds from the March 6 coronavirus aid package, which allotted $40 million to American Indian and Alaska Native communities. Those funds have not arrived.
2020欧洲杯夺冠热门"We're barely getting bits and pieces," . "You have counties, municipalities, already taking advantage of these funds, and tribes are over here writing our applications and turning it in and waiting weeks to get what we need."
Do you have a personal experience with the coronavirus you'd like to share? Or a tip on how your town or community is handling the pandemic? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us your story.
Get the latest coronavirus business & economic impact analysis from Business Insider Intelligence on how COVID-19 is affecting industries.