BRASILIA (Reuters) – The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) warned on Tuesday that new coronavirus is spreading rapidly in the tri-border area of the Amazon between Brazil, Colombia and Peru and threatens to infect remote indigenous communities in the rainforest.

PAHO directors urged in a virtual briefing that special measures be taken to protect vulnerable groups among the poor and indigenous populations of the Americas. They said contagion was rising fast in densely populated Amazon border cities such as Manaus, Leticia and Iquitos, and the greatest danger is the COVID-19 spreading now to isolated villages.

(Reporting by Anthony Boadle, Editing by Franklin Paul)