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    23 of March of 2020Extraordinary Meeting of the Council of Ministers of March 23, 2020
    Presidency of the Council of Ministers
    Eighth Constitutional Government
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    Press Release
    Extraordinary Meeting of the Council of Ministers of March 23, 2020
    The Council of Ministers met at the Dili Convention Center and approved the content of the letter of request for the declaration of a state of emergency to be sent to the President of the Republic, Francisco Guterres Lú Olo. The proposal aims to ensure that the Government has the necessary legal means to be able to intervene quickly in preventing the emergence of an outbreak of the new Coronavirus  in Timor-Leste and, in the event that it takes place, take the necessary and appropriate measures to combat the spread of the virus. The Government believes that the prevention of the occurrence and spread in covid-19 national territory will require the adoption of some measures that will configure limitations and suspension of the exercise of some fundamental rights, freedoms and guarantees. Possible measures to be applied include restrictions on movement, non-essential public and private activities, agglomerations of people, religious events or celebrations, and compulsive confinement at home, or in a health facility. Upon receipt of the Government's request, the President of the Republic will convene the Council of State and the Superior Council of Defense and Security. Before the declaration of a state of emergency, the document will still be debated by the National Parliament for a period of not more than one day.
    Several proposals for contingency measures presented by the members of the Council of Ministers were examined, to be implemented during the state of emergency, in order to strengthen prevention, awareness raising and response to COVID-19. Measures to support the population in the national territory and Timorese citizens abroad and to reduce the negative impacts on the national economy were also discussed.
    The Deputy Minister for Strategic Development of Health, Bonifácio Maukoli  dos Reis, presented to the Council of Ministers the current statos on the ongoing activities to prepare and combat the spread of COVID-19 in Timor-Leste, in particular with regard to the preparation of isolation and treatment sites in Dili and at the land border in  Batugade. The Deputy Minister also presented a proposal for an additional budget for the acquisition of medicines, for the adoption of prevention measures and for the rental, preparation, cleaning and safety of isolation sites.
    The Prime Minister, Taur Matan Ruak, instructed the members of the Government to initiate a significant reduction in the presence of employees in the workplace, in order to keep only the minimum necessary for essential public services to continue in operation. Civil servants and contractors who are exempt from attending the workplace must continue theur professional activities in their homes, where they remain in contact and in social separation together with their families.
    The Prime Minister assured that there will be an incentive plan to strengthen the conditions of health personnel and of health and isolation facilities, equipment and medicines.
    The Acting Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Fidelis  Leite Magalhães, presented a package of measures to reduce the negative impacts of COVID-19 on the national economy, at the emergency level and in terms of economic recovery.
    The Minister of Justice, Manuel Cárceres da Costa, announced that today he will issue a decree for the suspension of visits to prisoners of all national prisons.
    The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Dionísio Babo Soares, presented a draft Government Resolution, approved by the Council of Ministers, for the purchase of medicines and equipment from China and informed that he is also in contact with other international partners, notably Australia and Cuba, which are available to support Timor-Leste in accessing medicines, ventilators and other health equipment.
    The Minister of Transport and Communications, José Agostino da Silva, informed the members of the Council of Ministers that a telephone line was created for information on COVID-19. The number is 119 and will be available from the morning of March 24, 2020.
    Currently, there is 1 confirmed case of COVID-19 in Timor-Leste. The World Health Organization (WHO) has so far recorded a total of 292,142 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the report of 22 March 2020.
    Finally, the Acting Minister of Finance said that four projects were approved by the Infrastructure Fund's Board of Directors to deal with the damage caused by the floods of March 13, 2020. These projects include the creation of river containment walls, cleaning activities and water and sanitation and electricity infrastructure. ENDS
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  • 22 of March of 2020COVID-19 prevention and control measures - Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Culture
    Presidency of the Council of Ministers
    Eighth Constitutional Government
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    Dili, March 22, 2020
    Press Release
    COVID-19 prevention and control measures
    Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Culture
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    22 of March of 2020Determination of Extraordinary Vacations for all Schools across the country from 23 to 28 March 2020
    Presidency of the Council of Ministers
    Eighth Constitutional Government
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    Dili, March 22, 2020
    Press Release
    Determination of Extraordinary Vacations for all Schools across the country from 23 to 28 March 2020
    Today, March 22, 2020, the Minister of Education, Youth and Sport, after coordinating with the Prime Minister's Office and the Ministry of Health, determined an Extraordinary Teaching Interruption for all public schools and private schools that are part of the public network (Catholic Schools and Foundations), between 23 and 28 March, through the Ministerial Order 9/GM-MEJD/III/2020.
    This decision was taken on the basis of the powers of the Minister for Education, Youth and Sport in relation to the determination of the school calendar, in accordance with Article 5 of Decree-Law 3/2015 of 14 January and 4/2015 of 14 January.
    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport is also developing distance learning-teaching mechanisms, which we hope can start to be implemented next week.
    According to the recommendations of the Ministry of Health, I would like to emphasize that this SCHOOL BREAK in the week of March 23 to 28, IS NOT TO PLAY, BUT TO STAY AT HOME AND COMPLY with the hygiene standards that were published by MEJD in Order No.  3/2020, as well as the official rules of the Ministry of Health. Therefore, I ask for the understanding of all parents and guardians to BAN the movements of your children on the street.
    The MEJD remains in close coordination with the Ministry of Health and the other relevant Ministries to ensure that the education system supports the safety and health of all.
    I ask you to remain calm, to trust in God, and to be careful of your body. I ASK STUDENTS to REST a lot, eat well-cooked food, wash hands often and avoid walking hand in hand, kissing, asking/giving the blessing and other physical contacts. They shouldn't spit on the floor either. The most important thing is to relax and enjoy time with the family. Share family stories, plant a family garden, sing together, and enjoy and love each other within the family.
    IF YOU FEEL DRY COUGH OR SNEEZING, WITH FEVER, PLEASE CONTACT CLINICS, HOSPITALS OR HEALTH PERSONNEL.
    THE MEJD WILL REEVALUATE THIS INTERRUPTION, WHEN IT ENDS, AND WILL THEN INFORM PARENTS AND PARENTS.
    Thank you very much and God bless us.
    ENDS
     
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    20 of March of 2020Exceptional and temporary measures relating to the epidemiological situation of the new Coronavirus
    Presidency of the Council of Ministers
    Eighth Constitutional Government
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    Dili, March 20, 2020
    Press Release
    Exceptional and temporary measures relating to the epidemiological situation of the new Coronavirus
    In order to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus to the national territory, the Government approved, through Government Resolution No.10/2020 of March 19, a set of measures of a temporary and extraordinary nature, including the prohibition of entry into national territory, to all foreign citizens who in the last four weeks have departed or transited through countries with registered cases of infection by COVID-19, according to information published and updated daily by the World Health Organization .
    This prohibition does not apply to foreign citizens who were born in Timorese territory and who habitually reside here or who are legal representatives of minors of Timorese nationality or third-party nationals residing in Timor-Leste over whom they exercise parental power or ensure their livelihood and education. The Prime Minister, in duly substantiated cases, related to the defense of the national interest or convenience of service, may authorize the entry of foreigners into national territory.
    It is also forbidden to disembark cruise ship passengers unless they are Timorese citizens or foreign citizens who are in one of the situations described above.
    Under the government resolution approved, it is also prohibited to all human resources of the Direct and Indirect Administration of the State to take service trips outside the national territory.
    Urgent medical evacuations and supplies of medicines, materials and hospital supplies are ensured on a sanitary and/or humanitarian basis.
    For the purposes of sea or air transport and release of goods at Ports or Airports, foreign citizens, in charge of and under the responsibility of the carrier, may only remain in the "International Zone".
    All nationals and foreign nationals covered by these exceptions, arriving in Timor-Leste by air, land or sea, shall be in voluntary quarantine for a minimum period of fourteen days and shall inform the authorities who are present at border posts of the place where they will be isolated.
    The measures to prohibit entry to all foreign citizens, provided for in the resolution adopted, will be reviewed monthly, with a view to their maintenance or elimination. ENDS
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    18 of March of 2020Meeting of the Council of Ministers of March 18, 2020
    Presidency of the Council of Ministers
    Eighth Constitutional Government
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    Press Release
    Meeting of the Council of Ministers of March 18, 2020
    The Council of Ministers met at the Government Palace in Dili and approved a draft law, presented by the Acting Minister of Finance, Sara Lobo Brites, for the request to the National Parliament for Authorization to Carry out a Extraordinary Transfer from the Petroleum Fund in the amount of two hundred and fifty million U.S. dollars, during the duration of the duodecimal regime of budget execution, in order to ensure financial conditions for the functioning of the Public Administration.
    The Minister of Legislative Reform and Parliamentary Affairs, Fidelis Manuel Leite Magalhães, replacing the Minister of State of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, presented the draft Decree-Law, approved by the Council of Ministers, on the assignment of contractual position between public entities. This Decree-Law regulates the transfer of a contractual position from a legal person under public law to another legal person under public law in the context of a contract with reciprocal benefits. This law applies to all public contracts concluded by public entities in Timor-Leste with a view to the supply of goods, execution of works or provision of services for public purposes.
    The Acting Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Fidelis Manuel Leite Magalhães, gave a presentation on the situation of the economy and food reserves in the country. The data presented on essential items, such as rice, wheat and fuel, indicate that there are sufficient reserves in the national territory for several months, with no risk of stock breakage. Measures are also being put in place to combat price speculation and product hoarding. The Government is also buying more 3,800 tons of rice to increase the national reserve.
    The Council of Ministers heard a presentation of the Technical Working Group to respond to the impacts of the floods of 13 March 2020 on the extraordinary measures necessary for the rehabilitation of the affected areas, presented by the Minister Of Public Works, Salvador Soares dos Reis Pires, together with the Ministry of Planning and Strategic Investment and with the Board of Directors of the Infrastructure Fund. The floods in various parts of the city of Dili caused extensive material damage, leaving hundreds of families displaced. Data on all damage and intervention needs was presented so as to restore road mobility, continuing to provide electricity safely and ensuring the repair of water supply systems damaged, and, above all, carry out urgent work of cleaning drainages, normalization and sad removal of streams and construction of retaining walls that prevent the events of last Friday from repeating during this rainy season. The Working Group is composed of the General Directorate of Public Works that leads it through its Director General, and also includes the National Development Agency, the General Directorate of Water and Sanitation, the Institute of Equipment Management, I.P. and the National Procurement Commission.
    The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Dionísio Babo Soares, presented to the Council of Ministers the state of play of the national preparedness for the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). The various ongoing measures for the prevention and control of Coronavirus were presented, including the training of health professionals from all over the country, activities to raise awareness of the population, purchase of ventilators, preparation of isolation sites and hospital centers, health screening at border posts, among others. Several extraordinary measures were also discussed to be implemented in order to contain the outbreak, depending on the declaration of the State of Emergency. So far there is no confirmed case of COVID-19 in Timor-Leste. The World Health Organization has so far counted 184,976 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in 159 countries and territories, killing 7,529 people. The clinical signs and symptoms of COVID-19 are mainly respiratory, such as fever, cough and breathing difficulties. In patients in a more serious condition, the infection can cause pneumonia and even fatal complications.  ENDS
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  • 17 of March of 2020Government appeals to the population to Keep Calm in Relation to Pandemic COVID-19
    Presidency of the Council of Ministers
    Eighth Constitutional Government
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    Press Release
    Government appeals to the population to Keep Calm in Relation to Pandemic COVID-19
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  • 16 of March of 2020Tolerance days-off on March 17 and 18, 2020
    Presidency of the Council of Ministers
    Eighth Constitutional Government
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    Press Release
    Tolerance days-off on March 17 and 18, 2020
    The Council of Ministers decided to grant tolerance days-off on March 17 and 18 so that everyone can participate in the clean-up and recovery actions of the damage caused by last Friday's floods. Tolerance days-ff apply only in the municipality of Dili and do not apply to essential services such as security, health, civil protection, etc. The Ministries shall expressly indicate which services are considered essential. Staff should remain permanently in contact if they are required for service.  ENDS
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    16 of March of 2020Extraordinary Meeting of the Council of Ministers of 16 March 2020
    Presidency of the Council of Ministers
    Eighth Constitutional Government
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    Press Release
    Meeting of the Council of Ministers of March 16, 2020
    The Council of Ministers met at the Government Palace in Dili and decided to request his Excellency the President of the Republic to declare the State of Emergency, due to the worrying developments in the epidemiological situation and the proliferation of recorded cases of contagion of COVID-19 on a global scale, which require the implementation of extraordinary and urgent measures to stop the pandemic. In this sense, the Council of Ministers also adopted a Government Resolution with a set of measures aimed at intensifying the prevention and awareness of the population. Other measures to be approved after the declaration of the State of Emergency were also discussed.
    The members of the Council of Ministers also examined the damage caused by last Friday's torrential rains. The heavy flooding caused major property damage throughout the city of Dili, with thousands affected, hundreds displaced, some injured and one dead. The necessary measures for the recovery of flood damage and support for the affected population were analyzed. The Council of Ministers also examined a set of short and long-term measures to minimise the effects of torrential rains in the future.
    Finally, the Council of Ministers decided to grant tolerance days-off on March 17 and 18 so that everyone can participate in the clean-up and recovery actions of the damage caused by last Friday's floods. Tolerance days-ff apply only in the municipality of Dili and do not apply to essential services such as security, health, civil protection, etc. The Ministries shall expressly indicate which services are considered essential. Staff should remain permanently in contact if they are required for service.  ENDS
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