Covid-19: Cases in Timor-Leste Rise to 22, Five More ‘Probable’

Covid-19: Cases in Timor-Leste Rise to 22, Five More ‘Probable’

Students leave quarantine yesterday after completing their mandatory 14 days. (Image/Antonio Gonçalves)

DILI, April 20, 2020 (TATOLI) – The number of Covid-19 cases in Timor-Leste has risen by three, bringing the total to 22, authorities have confirmed.

One patient has so far recovered from the virus.

Spokesman for the Integrated Crisis Management Centre (CIGC), Rui Maria de Araújo, announced yesterday the three new cases have been transferred to isolation at Dili’s Vera Cruz Clinic, along with a further five people deemed “probable” carriers of the virus.

CIGC spokesman, Dr Rui Araújo (Image/Egas Cristovão)

“There are still 92 [people] awaiting results, and 208 people with negative results,” the former Prime Minister said yesterday.

Dr Araújo said the five treated as “probable” cases have returned inconclusive results. A further 327 are “suspected” of carrying the virus, he said.

In a briefing to reporters yesterday, Dr Araújo confirmed one of the new cases is a Portuguese teacher living in the town of Liquiça, west of Dili, who has been identified as part of a new cluster of confirmed and suspected cases.

A second cluster was identified among quarantine residents at the Hotel Lecidere, bringing the total number of groups being traced to six, Dr Araújo said.

“The two groups of Portuguese teachers traveled on different dates. While subgroup TL arrived in Timor-Leste on February 28, subgroup P landed in Dili on March 8,” he explained.

Authorities are exploring close contacts of a patient in subgroup P, who left Timor-Leste on April 4 for Portugal and later tested positive.

Maumeta Beach, Liquiçá Municipality. (Image/Egas Cristovao)

The teacher and another – whose sample was re-analysed at Royal Darwin Hospital gave an “inconclusive” result – are among a group of four teachers and a driver who had been in contact with the Portuguese teacher tested positive in Lisbon on April 6.

Dr Araújo said none of the five have presented symptoms of Covid-19. However, patients require two conclusive negative tests before they are allowed to leave isolation.

In the meantime, he said, the medical team is providing round-the-clock care.

“There are 23 health professionals who provide medical care at the quarantine and isolation centre in the Centro de Vera Cruz,” he said.

Some 597 people are currently undergoing their mandatory 14-days quarantine at one of the government sites, while 15 are completing the period at home.

The virus, which was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation in January, has now spread to some 2.5 million people worldwide, killing 169,042. Around a quarter of the patients has now recovered.

Journalist: Nelia Borges

Editor: Robert Baird


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