Second coronavirus case in Timor-Leste – and first Timorese national

Timor-Leste Covid-19 poster
A Timor-Leste Covid-19 graphic ... testing not widespread with only 56 tests done so far. Image: Tatoli

By Antónia Gusmão in Dili

Timor-Leste has registered its second case of Covid-19, the Integrated Crisis Management Centre (CIGC) has confirmed.

The patient – a Timorese citizen, who crossed the border from Indonesia on April 1 – was isolated at their quarantine site when they developed symptoms of the virus, CIGC spokesman Sérgio Lobo said.

“Symptoms such as cough, flu appeared after one week arriving in quarantine, thus the patient is now in the isolation place,” Dr Sérgio Lobo said.

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The patient was alone in their room, and did not have physical contact with another person, Dr Lobo added.

“The quarantine site that the patient was in was very strict,” he said.

He said the Ministry of Health and CIGC were verifying the people who were in contact with the patient before arriving at the border.

A sample was taken from the patient, and verified at the Royal Darwin Hospital laboratory in Australia.

950 in quarantine
While two people have tested positive in Timor-Leste, testing is not widespread, with only 56 people tested so far. Four are awaiting their test results.

Some 950 people are undergoing their mandatory 14-day quarantine in sites across the country. Around 900 have already completed their stay, the Ministry of Health said.

However, the announcement comes as authorities report Timor’s first Covid-19 patient, who entered isolation on March 21, has recovered from the virus.

CIGC spokesman Sérgio Lobo said the foreign national had now returned two negative test results – a prerequisite for leaving isolation – and was discharged from care.

Dr Lobo reminded everyone to abide by the state of emergency measures.

”We all should contribute: maintain social distance, don’t gather together, maintain physical distance of one metre from others when going out in public, wear masks, and wash hands to prevent Covid-19,” Dr Lobo said.

Dengue fever claims four lives
As Timor-Leste fends off Covid-19, Tatoli reports that dengue fever has claimed four lives, including three children, as the latest outbreak in Ermera district spreads to more than 100 people.

Timor-Leste’s borders will be closed to all travellers from Monday, in drastic measures aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19.

The Council of Ministers yesterday revised last month’s State of Emergency decree, “temporarily” closing all borders to all citizens, from April 13 “until further notice”.

Antónia Gusmão is a reporter for Timor-Leste’s national news agency Tatoli.

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