Nicolau Lobato Presidential Palace, Dili, 26 October 2020
The Superior Council for Defence and Security and the Council of State advised the President of the Republic to ask the National Parliament for authorisation to declare the renewal of the state of emergency for another 30 days, as suggested by the government.
Following the meetings with the Superior Council of Defence and Security and the Council of State, the Chief of the Military House, Colonel António Soares da Silva “Mau-Kalo”, gave his assurance that both councils unanimously recommended the renewal of the state of emergency.
The President of the Republic will now send a message to the National Parliament requesting authorisation to declare the renewal of the state of emergency.
The Chief of the Military House also pointed out that Timor-Leste is a small country, with poor infrastructure and limited resources, which is why the best defence against the novel coronavirus is prevention.
The government’s proposal to extend the state of emergency is due to the worrying evolution of the epidemiological situation and the spread of confirmed cases of COVID-19 community contagion at both regional level and worldwide.
The sixth period of state of emergency began on 5 October and is due to expire on 3 November.
Timor-Leste has reported, since March, 29 confirmed cases of infection – 28 of which have already recovered – and no fatalities.
When the first imported COVID-19 case was reported, the Council of Ministers approved the government’s request for the declaration of a state of emergency. After obtaining a favourable opinion from the Superior Council for Defence and Security and the Council of State on 25 March, the President of the Republic sent a message to the National Parliament requesting authorisation to declare the state of emergency. The state of emergency was declared on 27 March for a period of thirty days. Timor-Leste is currently in its sixth period of state of emergency.
Since all confirmed cases were imported infections and given the growing number of citizens who cross the border illegally, the government has decreed strict measures for the current state of emergency, namely the imposition of fines that range from 30 to 250 dollars on citizens who cross the border illegally and payment of the quarantine fees.
With this measure, the government is taking action against the risk of community transmission.