Dili, April 8th, 2021 – His Excellency the Prime Minister, Taur Matan Ruak, in his speech at the launching ceremony of the national immunization campaign with the COVID-19 vaccine, on April 7th, 2021, in Bairro Formosa, stated that he had already made a formal request to his counterparts, the Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison and the Prime Minister of the Council of State of the People’s Republic of China, Li Keqiang, to support Timor-Leste with vaccines, to complete the remaining 80%, besides the 20% that Timor-Leste already has access to through the COVAX system. In addition, the Government has also already earmarked 35 million US dollars to purchase vaccines.
“ I made an official request to the Prime Minister of Australia, to support us with this 80%, however, we also made a request to the Prime Minister of China, to support Timor-Leste in this challenge. Besides that, the Government has already included, in the rectification budget, USD$ 35 million for the vaccines”, stated the Head of Government.
The Head of Government also stated that, at this moment, the Government is working hard to have access to the remaining 80% of the vaccines that we still don’t have. Taking advantage of the presence of the WHO and UNICEF representatives and the Ambassadors, the Head of Government asked the Interministerial Commission that deals with vaccine issues to work together with Timor-Leste’s development partners in order to reach the goal of, until the end of 2021, all Timorese receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
“ I humbly ask the Interministerial Commission for Vaccination, led by the Vice-Prime Minister, to work together with our partners, WHO, UNICEF, and all partners, and that we do everything possible so that Timor-Leste reaches its goals of everyone being vaccinated by the end of the year,” he said.
After resisting for a year, Timor-Leste has unfortunately recorded the first case of death from COVID-19. The cumulative total of cases in Timor-Leste, up to April 7th, was 779 cases, of which 485 cases are active positive cases and 294 recovered cases. Regarding COVID-19 cases worldwide, by April 8th, there were 133.6 million cumulative positive cases, 2.9 million deaths, and 107.8 million recovered cases. END/M-PMO