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‘Alarming situation’ but help slow in coming for struggling Kashechewan, chief says

Help for the struggling James Bay community of Kashechewan has been slow in coming, as COVID-19 infections surge through overcrowded homes and isolation facilities remain non-existent, Chief Leo Friday said on Wednesday.

The virus has attacked children particularly hard, with those aged 12 and under accounting for more than half the 232 active cases, the chief said. One child was in intensive care but said to be improving.

“Nobody seems to do anything about it,” Friday told The Canadian Press. “The process of their help is really slow even though we called a state of emergency.”

The cases in the community account for more than one quarter of the 889 active infections roiling Canada’s Indigenous reserves, federal data show.

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller insisted help has already arrived in a “very fragile” Kashechewan and more is on the way.

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