Dili, September 30th, 2020 – His Excellency the Prime Minister, Taur Matan Ruak, attended, this Wednesday, at the Presidential Palace, the State Council (SC) and the Defence and Security High Council of (DSHC) meetings, chaired by the President of the Republic, Dr. Francisco Guterres Lú Olo, to discuss the Government decision on the State of Emergency’s extension, for a sixth period, related to the COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to contaminate the whole world.
The objective of the Government’s request to the President of the Republic, to extend the State of Emergency, is to enable the Government to deal with this human calamity, which continues to affect the whole world. Looking at the number of SARS-CoV-2 infections in neighbouring countries, such as Indonesia and Australia, it can be seen that it is still growing. Timor-Leste is, therefore, at risk of importing the virus. On the other hand, the request is justified by legal insecurity, since without a State of Emergency, the Government cannot limit the rights and guarantees of citizens, within the limits of the Constitution. Thus, the best way to prevent, is to implement the State of Emergency.
At both meetings, SC and DSHC members shared their views on the importance of the extension of the State of Emergency, as a tool to save the people of Timor-Leste from this global pandemic. The SC and DSHC suggested that the Head of State forward the Government’s request to the National Parliament, to obtain permission for the request for the State of Emergency extension.
Given the worrying evolution of the epidemiological situation and the proliferation of registered cases of COVID-19 infection, both at regional and global levels, and in order to avoid and neutralize the risks of SARS-CoV-2 spreading, thus protecting public health and the National Health System response capacity, the Government decided, at the meeting of the Council of Ministers on September 23rd, 2020, to propose to the President of the Republic the Declaration of the State of Emergency.
The sixth period of the State of Emergency will come into effect on October 5th and will end on November 4th, 2020.
This global pandemic emerged in the city of Wuhan, China, in December 2019, and spread throughout the world, including Timor-Leste. To date, Timor-Leste has registered 29 positive cases, of which 28 have already recovered and one patient is in isolation, under treatment. To the present, there is no record of any case of death. Worldwide, as of September 30th, 2020, there have been 33,844,343 positive cases of COVID-19 and 1,012,661 deaths (data retrieved from https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus). END/M-PMO