Dili, August 16th, 2021– His Excellency the Prime Minister, Taur Matan Ruak, participated, on Monday, in a ceremony to hand over AstraZeneca vaccines, offered by the Government of Japan to the Government of Timor-Leste, through the COVAX system. The ceremony took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, in Praia dos Coqueiros, Dili.
In his remarks, the Head of Government expressed his deep appreciation for the effort and support of the Japanese Ambassador in Dili. Through the Ambassador, the Chief Executive, on behalf of the Timorese people, thanked the Japanese Government and People, and in particular its Prime Minister, for the generosity of this support to the Timorese people, to face the COVID-19 pandemic, through this donation of vaccines.
“Mr. Ambassador, I would like, on my own behalf and on behalf of the people of Timor-Leste, to thank you for all your efforts and, through you, to thank the Prime Minister and the Japanese people for your generosity, which has allowed this donation of vaccines, to help us to save lives in our country,” thanked the Head of Government.
The Head of Government also thanked the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF for having facilitated the transport of the vaccines to Timor-Leste.
“My special thanks to the World Health Organization and UNICEF, who made an enormous effort and with great difficulty, to transport the vaccines to Timor-Leste. With this support, I am sure that by the end of the year, if we don’t reach 100% vaccination, at least 80% of the population will have been vaccinated, so that Timor-Leste can return to normality”, said the Prime Minister.
With these vaccines offered by Japan, the Timor-Leste Government has already received a total of 982,380 vaccines. 100,800 came through the COVAX system, 24 thousand from New Zealand, 100 thousand (Sinovac) were offered by China, 577,580 came from Australia, 12 thousand from Portugal, and 168 thousand from Japan. With these vaccines, Timor-Leste has already managed to vaccinate, until August 16th, citizens in all the territory of Timor-Leste, namely people over 18 years of age, with the first dose reaching 340,985, or 45,2%, and the second dose reaching 127,769 or 16,9%.
The Government also thanked the effort of Health professionals from the Dili Municipality, who made a great effort and have already managed to vaccinate 70% of the population of Dili with the first dose and 49.1% with the second dose. These numbers are significant because Dili is the country’s capital and is the most populated city, which creates several problems, adding that this is a good example for other municipalities.
Finally, the Head of Government predicted that, until the end of the year, at least 80% of the Timor-Leste population will have been vaccinated, being this a requirement for the Government to decide the return to a new normality.
The ceremony was attended by the Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Social Solidarity and Inclusion, Armanda Berta dos Santos, the Minister of Health, Odete Freitas Belo, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Adaljiza Magno, accompanied by her Vice Minister, Julião da Silva, the UNICEF representative, the WHO representative, the Japanese Ambassador in Timor-Leste, Masami Kinefuchi and other dignitaries. END