Timor-Leste reports big surge in covid – 55 new cases

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Timorese Red Cross workers
Timor-Leste Red Cross (CVTL) workers in action in a remote border area of the country. Image: IFRC

Asia Pacific Report newsdesk

Timorese authorities have announced that they have detected a record surge in new covid-19 cases – 55 in one day.

According to Lusa news agency yesterday, 43 new cases of covid-19 were reported in the previous 24 hours in the capital Dili, 11 in Baucau and one in Viqueque, bringing the total number of active cases in the country to 206.

Rui Araújo, coordinator of the team for the Prevention and Mitigation of covid-19 of the Situation Room of the Integrated Crisis Management Center (CIGC), explained that in the last 24 hours three patients recovered from the disease.

The largest number of registered cases, a total of 26, occurred in Aldeia 20 de Setembro (Bebonuk) in Dili after a wide range of contacts in the area.

Following the detection of cases, members of the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) carried out an operation in the Bebonuk neighborhood, considered a “red zone”, to support surveillance teams in tracking positive patient contacts.

Euclides Belo, second commander of PNTL in Dili, confirmed to Lusa that the operation intended to guarantee, on the one hand, compliance with mandatory home confinement and, at the same time, allow testing of confirmed case contacts.

“It was an operation to ensure that people respect the rules of confinement and stay at home and so that medical teams can work on collecting samples from contacts with positive cases,” he said.

The spokesman reiterated calls for the population to comply with the rules of mandatory home confinement, explaining that this is not happening in neighborhoods like Bebonuk or other densely populated ones.

“Greater compliance with home confinement is needed. Unfortunately compliance is not being respected, particularly within neighborhoods. The Beobonuk neighborhood is a concrete example, like others, he said.

“It is important for people to take into account that any agglomeration without individual protection increases the risk of transmitting this virus to other people. The police authorities are looking at ways to ensure that there are no agglomerations within the neighborhoods,” he said.

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