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04 Sep 2020 | 09:21 AM UTC

Timor-Leste: Authorities extend state of emergency through October 4 /update 5

Authorities in Timor-Leste extend state of emergency through October 4 amid COVID-19 pandemic; abide by government directives

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Event

Authorities in Timor-Leste have extended the country's nationwide state of emergency through October 4, to further stop the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Face masks remain mandatory to use in public spaces, and social distancing measures must be adhered to. The country's borders remain closed to foreign travelers, with exceptions for residents, oil-workers, and other special cases. Regular international passenger flights remain suspended and restrictions are in place at ports and land border posts. These points of entry could see even tougher restrictions under the state of emergency.

As of Friday, September 4, health officials have confirmed 27 cases of COVID-19 in Timor-Leste, with no associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is expected in the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly, and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.

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