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  • 23 of April of 2020Let's applaud every Tuesday at 7pm to pay tribute to COVID-19 frontline responders in Timor-Leste,
    Presidency of the Council of Ministers
    Eighth Constitutional Government
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    April 23, 2020
    GOVERNMENT OF TIMOR-LESTE AND UNITED NATIONS JOINT PRESS RELEASE
    Let's applaud every Tuesday at 7pm to pay tribute to COVID19 frontline responders in Timor-Leste, says Primer Minister and UN Resident Coordinator
    Minister Taur Matan Ruak and UN Resident Coordinator Roy Trivedy announced a weekly "Applaud for Timorese Heroes" campaign to demonstrate public's appreciation for frontline workers in COVID-19 response by taking part in a mass round of applause.
    To demonstrate the appreciation for everything the frontline key workers are doing throughout the outbreak, a weekly national clapping event has been organized in their honour.
    The Govt-UN joint campaign will start on Tuesday, 28 April 2020, at 7pm local time. Please join in by clapping from within your homes, front doors, gardens, balconies, windows, and living rooms to show all COVID19 frontline men and women responders in Timor-Leste including health workers, emergency services, armed services, police, delivery drivers, teachers, waste collectors, cleaners, engineers, volunteers, and all those who are out there making an unbelievable difference.
    People across Timor-Leste are being encouraged to applaud every week on Tuesday at 7pm for five minutes from their homes to participate in Applaud for Timorese Heroes campaign, capture these moments on cameras, and post messages, photos, videos on their social media channels by tagging #Applaud4TimoreseHeroes.
    "The Applaud for Timorese Heroes initiative is a chance to thank all government, civil society, private sector workers and international partners, staff, and volunteers who are working around the clock to prevent those at risk and treat people affected by coronavirus. We are humbled by the hard work and dedication of all those on the front line. They're doing an amazing job caring for us and our loved ones in incredibly difficult times. Let's put our hands together to publicly show our gratitude each Tuesday", said Prime Minster Taur Matan Ruak and UN Resident Coordinator Roy Trivedy in joint statement.
    "The social media challenge will uplift the moral of medical workforce, police, armed forces, cleaners and all frontline staffs from across the nation who have been working long and hard in order to protect and care for as many people as they can, an act that the entire nation is grateful for", the joint statement further noted.
    Timor-Leste has so far registered 23 cases of COVID-19, including one already recovered.
    The COVID-19 pandemic has already claimed more than 180,000 deaths and infected almost 2.6 million people in 193 countries and territories. ENDS
     
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    23 of April of 2020Extraordinary Meeting of the Council of Ministers on April 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 April 20, 2020
    The Council of Ministers met at the Kay  Rala Xanana Gusmão Auditorium, at the Ministry of Finance, in Dili and approved the draft Decree-Law, presented by the Minister of Social Solidarity and Inclusion, Armanda Berta dos Santos, regarding monetary support to households in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. This measure is a short-term intervention to address the harmful livelihood impacts on low-income families across the country caused by COVID-19. All households, composed of at least one citizen, registered, by 31 March 2020, in the Register Book "Uma Kain" and in which none of its members are paid a regular monthly amount exceeding US$500. The support is worth 100 U.S. dollars per month and per household. Payment will be made from the month following the approval of this diploma and its costs will be financed by the COVID-19 Fund.
    The Council of Ministers approved the purchase of rice from Vietnam, proposed by the Acting Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Fidelis Manuel Leite Magalhães, to strengthen the existing rice stock to cope with a possible shortage during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    The Minister of Public Works, Salvador Soares dos Reis Pires, presented a draft Deliberation, approved by the Council of Ministers, for the amendment of a public contract with the company China Wu Yi Co. Lda, for improvement and maintenance of the roads of Dili, dated September 14, 2016.
    The Acting Minister of Health, Bonifácio Maukoli dos Reis, presented to the Council of Ministers the state of play of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. So far there have been a total of  23 confirmed positive cases of people infected with the new Coronavirus and four probable cases. Patients infected with new Coronavirus are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms. There is also a patient already recovered. The test result of 28 suspected cases are still to be known and 327 had a negative result. A total of 405 people are in mandatory confinement and 27 people are in self-quarantine.
    The Council of Ministers announced a weekly campaign, jointly with the United Nations, to "Applaud the Timorese Heroes" to show public appreciation for frontline workers in response to COVID-19, by participating in a round of mass applause. In this way, everyone in Timor-Leste is encouraged to applaud every week, on Tuesday, at 7 pm, for five minutes in their homes, starting next Tuesday, April 28, thus participating in the campaign "Applaud the tag Timorese Heroes". People should record these moments on video and disseminate messages, photographs, and videos on social networks, with the tag #Applaud4TimoreseHeroes. ENDS
     
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    22 of April of 2020Meeting of the Council of Ministers on April 22, 2020
    Presidency of the Council of Ministers
    Eighth Constitutional Government
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    Press Release
    Meeting of the Council of Ministers of April 22, 2020
    The Council of Ministers met at the Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão Auditorium, at the Ministry of Finance, in Dili and approved the draft Decree-Law, presented by the Prime Minister, Taur  Matan  Ruak, on the Regulation of the Integrated Crisis Management Center (CIGC). Law No. 2/2010 of 21 April on National Security and which created the CIGC requires the Government to approve its regulation. The powers of the CIGC remain as provided for in Law No. 2/2010 of 21 April, and the composition of the CIGC and its attributions are defined in this Decree-Law.
    The Acting Minister of Finance, Sara Lobo Brites, presented the draft Decree-Law, approved by the Council of Ministers, on the creation of a remuneration supplement for officials, agents and public administration workers who are active in the prevention or control services of COVID-19, during the period of the state of emergency. The amount of this remuneration supplement, which will be financed by the COVID-19 Fund, may vary depending on the degree of risk to which employees are exposed and will determined by a Government Resolution. This measure will cover health professionals, military personnel, security forces agents, agents of the food and economic safety authority, technical and logistical support personnel and personnel responsible for the collection and transport of solid waste as well as municipal market management who have implemented the measures enacted by the Government for the prevention and control of COVID-19.
    The Council of Ministers approved the draft Decree-Law, presented by the Minister of Social Solidarity and Inclusion, Armanda Berta dos Santos, regarding the measures to support employment in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. This legislation mainly aims to prevent unemployment, reduce the impacts on workers' incomes and support the viability of businesses. This Decree-Law sets out the grant of an extraordinary allowance in the case of suspension of the employment contract or reduction of working hours, in the amount equivalent to 60% of the remuneration and also includes the suspension of the payment of social security contributions. This support depends on the cumulative verification of the eligibility conditions provided for in this Decree-Law, which include the obligation for the suspension of the employment contract or reduction of the normal working period to be caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and to occur in accordance with the Labour Law and the obligation for employers and workers to be registered in the social security contribution scheme. Workers and employers who are enrolled in the social security contribution scheme within ten days of the publication of the Ministerial Diploma which will regulate the extraordinary registration procedure will also be covered.  ENDS
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    20 of April of 2020Extraordinary Meeting of the Council of Ministers on April 20, 2020
    Presidency of the Council of Ministers
    Eighth Constitutional Government
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    Press Release
    Meeting of the Council of Ministers of April 20, 2020
    The Council of Ministers met at the Kay  Rala Xanana Gusmão Auditorium, at the Ministry of Finance, in Dili and decided to ask the President of the Republic to extend the State of Emergency, which ends on April 26. The need to extend the state of emergency is due to the worrying evolution of the epidemiological situation and the proliferation of recorded cases of transmission of COVID-19 in the national territory and globally, which require the maintenance of the application of extraordinary and urgent measures to stop the pandemic.
    The Council of Ministers approved the socio-economic plan to respond to the expected negative effects of coronavirus on the national economy, submitted by the Interministerial Commission to Combat COVID-19. The approved economic stimulus is essentially designed with the aim of protecting people, saving jobs, maintaining consumption and supporting private sector activity. The Plan includes a set of strategic measures, including the implementation of a universal money transfer system, which will ensure a basic monthly income for more than 214 000 households, the subsidy of up to 60% of the wage cost of formal sector employees who have to be quarantined or stay at home during the pandemic, the purchase of an emergency rice stock for three months to compensate for possible shortages during the pandemic, the allocation of subsidies to ensure national connectivity, the guarantee of air connection three times a week, ensuring crucial medical and emergency connections to Darwin, the subsidy for maritime freight transport to Ataúro and Oecússi and the extension of Port operations to 24 hours of the day, the partial exemption from the payment of electricity bills ($USD 15 per month) and exemption from the payment of water bills, social security contributions and state property rents. It also includes a credit program with reduced rates, credit guarantees for importers of essential goods and emergency loans, the implementation of a program to increase food supply on the south coast and measures to ensure the availability of agricultural, livestock and fishing inputs, the provision of scholarships to more than 4,200 Timorese students abroad and internet subsidies for students in Timor-Leste. The total cost of these measures will be proportionate to the impacts of the health emergency and economic measures will be dynamic and calibrated for the duration of the economic impact.  ENDS
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  • 15 of April of 2020Vote of Condolence for the Death of Dan Murphy
    Presidency of the Council of Ministers
    Eighth Constitutional Government
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    April 15, 2020
    Press Release
    Vote of Condolence for the Death of Dan  Murphy
    It is with great sadness and great regret that the Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste received the news of the death of the north-american doctor Dan Murphy, victim of cardiac arrest, yesterday, April 14.
    Since 1998, Dr. Dan, the founder of the Bairro Pité Clinic, has maintained an intense activity in the treatment of the most vulnerable in Timor-Leste. Every day, the Pité Clinic receives hundreds of patients, namely in the treatment of leukemia, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and other diseases.
    Dan Murphy's contribution and extreme dedication to the treatment of the most vulnerable will never be forgotten and will forever be remembered with great affection, admiration and respect by all Timorese.
    At this time of great regret, the Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste extends its deepest condolences to the family of the esteemed Dr. Dan and the thanks of a nation forever grateful. ENDS
     
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    15 of April of 2020Meeting of the Council of Ministers of April 15, 2020
    Presidency of the Council of Ministers
    Eighth Constitutional Government
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    Press Release
    Meeting of the Council of Ministers of April 15, 2020
    The Council of Ministers met at the Dili Convention Centre and heard a presentation by the Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs in Office, Fidelis Manuel Leite Magalhães, on the economic policy in response to COVID-19. During the presentation, forecasts of the economic consequences of COVID-19 and possible responses to be implemented in accordance with the evolution of the national situation were shown. Priority was given to supporting social distancing and health, protecting people and the most vulnerable, and supporting workers and businesses.
    The Council of Ministers approved the draft Government Decree, presented by the Acting Minister of Finance, Sara Lobo Brites, on the rules for the execution of expenditure of the COVID-19 Fund. This Fund, created through Law No. 2/2020 of April 6 and regulated by Decree-Law No. 12/2020 of April 14, aims to finance expenses related to the prevention and fight against COVID-19. The Government Decree now approved establishes the rules for the execution of expenditure by the COVID-19 Fund, defining the procedure that must be followed by Ministries, autonomous bodies without own revenues and autonomous services to submit to the Fund the requests for payment related to measures to prevent and combat COVID-19. The procedure consists in the preparation of action plans that integrate each measure to prevent and combat COVID-19 to be implemented by the entity, the timing of the measure and its cost. The action plans will be considered by the Interministerial Commission for the Coordination of the Implementation of The New Coronavirus Outbreak Prevention and Control Measures, which will assess their suitability within the national strategy for preventing and combating COVID-19. All expenditure included in the action plans will be paid later through the COVID-19 Fund, in accordance with the mechanisms now in place. ENDS
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  • 10 of April of 2020Message of thanks to the nations where Timorese reside
    Presidency of the Council of Ministers
    Eighth Constitutional Government
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    April 10, 2020
    Press Release
    The Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste expresses its deepest gratitude to all the countries where Timorese reside, study, work and count on the protection of their governments.
    At a time when the whole world is joining forces in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and at this time of celebration of Easter, one of the most important solemnities in the Catholic religion, the Government joins all Timorese throughout the world, wishing a happy Easter and expressing its thanks to all the nations that welcome our People so well. ENDS
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    08 of April of 2020 Government signs agreement with Airnorth to ensure continued air services connectivity
    Presidency of the Council of Ministers
    Eighth Constitutional Government
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    April 8, 2020
    Press Release
     Government signs agreement with Airnorth to ensure continued air services connectivity
    The Government of Timor-Leste, through the Minister of Transport and Communications José Agostinho da Silva, on Tuesday, 7 April signed an agreement with Airnorth that will allow for air services to continue between Dili and Darwin.  The agreement was recently approved by the Council of Ministers according to the Government Spokesperson, Minister of State of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers Agio Pereira.
    Under the agreement, Airnorth will operate three flights per week between Dili and Darwin for the transport of medical supplies, medical emergencies, and the provision of essential goods and services. The services will commence in the coming week, with the date of first flight to be this Friday, 10th of April.
    The COVID-19 crisis is having an unprecedented impact on airlines around the world. In recent weeks, several service providers, including Airnorth and Air Timor, announced the cessation of services in and out of Dili. This was in response to widescale travel restrictions enacted to slow the spread of COVID-19, such as transit and quarantine restrictions imposed by the Singaporean Government.  A cessation of all air services now leaves Timor-Leste isolated, without global connectivity for the movement of freight, medical supplies or passengers in emergencies.
    The agreement signed between the Government of Timor-Leste and Airnorth ensures continued air connectivity for Timor-Leste. Once the global COVID-19 crisis has stabilised, the parties anticipate a smooth transition to the provision of regular passenger services. In the interim, Airnorth’s services will largely be for the transport of freight and emergency medical supplies.
    Minister Agio Pereira said: “There is nothing more important than the health and safety of our people.”
    “As we all know, the outbreak of COVID-19 has been declared a public health emergency of international concern and is impacting countries around the world.”
    “The Government of Timor-Leste is taking concrete steps to protect the Timorese people and secure the safety of our nation.”
    Minister José Agostinho da Silva stated that “it is the responsibility of our Government to maintain an air transit route to ensure we can continue to bring in supplies to assist us in dealing with the challenges arising out of the COVID-19 virus.”
    Minister Agio Pereira added: “The Government has been working to secure a swift and cost-efficient air connectivity solution. Despite Airnorth cutting its services to many locations due to the impact of COVID-19, the airline has agreed to continue three services to Dili per week under this partnership.
    “This initiative will also be important for our businesses that rely heavily on air connections for freight.”
    “We thank Airnorth for its ongoing support and the flexibility shown by its CEO Daniel Bowden, who led the negotiation process personally.  We have been well advised by Stephen Webb and his aviation team at DLA Piper to ensure this arrangement has been put in place as quickly and cost effectively as possible, and as a gesture to our people this has been provided on a pro bono basis.”
    Minister Pereira also stated that, “On behalf of the people of Timor-Leste, I want to acknowledge the bravery and hard work of our health care workers during this crisis. I also would like to recognise the support of the Australian Government in facilitating medical testing in Darwin, and  the Airnorth workers who will continue operating the service during these challenging times.” ENDS
     
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