- If there are risks, they must be assumed by all
Dili, April 15th, 2021 – His Excellency the Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak, apologized to the family of the first person who died with COVID-19, whose funeral process took place in Metinaro, based on the health protocols, but that did not follow the normal procedures. Nevertheless, the Prime Minister asked for the understanding of the families of the deceased, so that they give importance to the health of all, in relation to this danger of the SARS- CoV-2 virus.
“As Prime Minister and Head of the Situation Room, I also want to take the opportunity to apologize to the families, especially the family of the first person who died with COVID-19. Some people have said that the funeral was not well done, that there was no dignity. For this reason, I apologize to the family, but I also ask the families to understand and put the health of all the other people first,” said the Head of Government, after his weekly meeting with the Head of State, this Thursday, at the Presidential Palace.
Regarding the controversy of the second death with COVID-19, whose funeral process, in Metinaro, according to the defined health protocols, was directly prevented by the former Prime Minister, Xanana Gusmão, together with the family, the Head of Government explained that the decision about the funeral procedures for people who died with COVID-19 is the responsibility of the health services, and follows the protocols that the WHO suggested. As Prime Minister and Operational Commander of the Situation Room, during the controversy of these days, the Head of Government tried to manage the situation, so that, in the end, the decision could satisfy all parties, and later, when there are other situations of risk, there won’t be accusations from both sides.
“During all this time, I also managed, I tried to manage the position of the Health Services, the various positions so that no one would lose out of this situation, but this decision cannot bring risk to us. So that, if tomorrow or the day after there is some risk situation, they don’t say that it is Matan Ruak’s or Xanana’s fault, but we all assume the risks if in the future there is some problem […]. This is a big responsibility, it’s not easy, but I hope that there can be a good solution. On the one hand, the funeral of the deceased has to be done with dignity, but, on the other hand, we have to protect the citizens, so that they don’t get infected”, said the Head of Government.
Based on guidance from the Head of Government, as the Situation Room Operations Commander, the Situation Room team was finally able to find a solution, together with the family of the deceased and the former Prime Minister, Xanana Gusmão, after a three-day stalemate on the procedures for the funeral. It was agreed between the parties that the funeral would take place at the Manleu cemetery, but the procedures for the funeral follow established health standards and protocols. END/M-PMO