Coronavirus: Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations declares states of emergency

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus outbreak: Saskatchewan declares state of emergency'
Coronavirus outbreak: Saskatchewan declares state of emergency
WATCH: Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe declares state of emergency – Mar 18, 2020

The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations has declared a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Many of our First Nations are not prepared for this COVID-19 pandemic as it continues to escalate in our region FSIN,” FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron said.

“Some of our 74 member First Nations do not have health services or access to necessary supplies and medicines to combat the spread of COVID-19 and cases are continuing to increase across the province.”

Cameron said COVID-19 is adding to the “extreme challenges” First Nations in the province deal with every day.

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“The little resources we have in some of our communities has been stretched beyond capacity and these bands still have not seen any funds or supplies come to the nation,” Cameron said.

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“We are also fielding requests from off-reserve members who are also struggling in the urban centres but don’t have the resources for some of the most basic needs. Funding allocations must be immediate and sent directly to the First Nations.”

The FSIN represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials say the risk is low for Canadians but warn this could change quickly. They caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are asked to self-isolate for 14 days in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. And if you get sick, stay at home.

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For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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