“We Must Remain Vigilant” on Covid-19, Timorese Abroad Warned

“We Must Remain Vigilant” on Covid-19, Timorese Abroad Warned

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MNEC), Dionísio da Costa Babo Soares. (Image/António Gonçalves)

DILI, 18 March 2020 (TATOLI)– Timor-Leste’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MNEC), Díonisio Soares Babo, has reminded Timorese living abroad to exercise preventative measures against the spread of Covid-19.

“On behalf of the Timor-Leste government, we continue to stress that all Timorese students and citizens abroad pay attention to this issue, as well as to ensure everyone they are safe to return home if they are able to do so,” he said.

The Ministry yesterday issued a travel ban on anyone arriving from one of the 147 Covid-19 affected countries. However, citizens and foreigners with a “special purpose” in Timor are exempt.

More than 209,000 people have contracted the virus worldwide as of Thursday, the World Health Organisation reports. Some 8,778 people have died, and 85,000 have recovered.

Minister Babo said Timorese students and citizens should feel secure in returning to Timor-Leste.

“This is a global disease. We can try to lock it in one place, but then it comes from another. We must remain constantly vigilant. This is the government position,” he said.

He asks the students to stay isolated in a secure place and to minimise their movements to protect themselves from the global pandemic.

Journalist: Hortencio Sanchez

Editors: Andrew Kaminsky; Robert Baird; Agapito dos Santos

Translation: Nelia Borges


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