President of the Republic renews State of Emergency for another 30 days

Tue. 02 of March of 2021, 13:25h

The President of the Republic, Francisco Guterres Lú Olo, following the Government’s request, decreed yesterday, March 1st, 2021, the renewal of the state of emergency, for another 30 days, between March 4th, 2021, 00:00 a.m. and April 2nd, 2021, 11:59 p.m.

The Government decided, at the meeting of the Council of Ministers of February 19th, 2021, to propose to the President of the Republic the renewal of the State of Emergency for another thirty days. After the positive opinions of the Council of State and the Superior Council for Defense and Security, the National Parliament, today, in Plenary, authorized the President of the Republic to declare the renewal of the state of emergency for the 11th time since the emergence of the pandemic of COVID-19.

Today, the Council of Ministers approved the measures to implement the Declaration of the State of Emergency, and the Government decided to maintain the majority of the measures already approved and that are being implemented. This meeting also renewed the imposition of a sanitary fence in the municipality of Covalima, keeping the movement between this municipality and the other municipalities prohibited, until April 2nd, 2021.

Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak, in the debate for authorisation the renewal of the declaration of the eleventh state of emergency, stressed that "at this moment, our only weapon of defence and protection is not to let this invisible enemy, which is COVID-19, to spread on our national territory, through measures to control the entry of persons and the imposition of limitations on citizens' rights, through the state of emergency."

The Head of Government explained that, since the first declaration of the state of emergency, the Executive has sought to strengthen the preparation against COVID-19, "with the preparation of facilities for isolation and quarantine, which currently has 250 beds for isolation of mild cases and 25 beds for severe cases or intensive care". He also said that at this time "there are a total of 728 quarantine rooms" and highlighted the current "ability to perform test for COVID-19".

The Prime Minister said that "the screening of COVID-19 is underway in various parts of the country" to "identify possible carriers of the virus of this disease" and reiterated that "the Government seeks to adjust the measures of the State of Emergency to the level of risk of spread of COVID-19, so that we do not suffer from any unjustified measure". In the event of Community transmission on national territory, "stricter lockdown measures " will have to be taken, i.e., an eventual total blockage of movement and activities".

With regard to the vaccination plan, the Head of the Government said that "we will start with those who need it most, including health professionals and security and defence forces, on the front line of combating the disease; and we remain committed to immunizing 80% (eighty percent) of our population by the end of this year."

A total of 113 confirmed cases of the new Coronavirus have been recorded in Timor-Leste since the beginning of the pandemic, of which 90 have already recovered and there are currently 23 active cases.

The number of SARS-CoV-2 infected in the world has already exceeded 114 million and more than 2.5 million people have died from COVID-19.