Durrani : vaccine the only way to combat Covid-19

Durrani : vaccine the only way to combat Covid-19

DILI, 10 june 2021 (TATOLI) – The UNICEF representative in Timor-Leste, Bilal Aurang Zeb Durrani said the Covid-19 vaccine was the only way to combat Covid-19.

Mr. Durrani said it was important for everybody to get vaccinated to save themselves, their families, and also people around them from Covid-19.

He said people needed to put aside their doubts on the Covid-19 vaccine, saying they need to trust the vaccines as all the scientists and doctors in the world have verified the vaccines were safe and they were the only way to keep the population safe from the virus.

“Vaccine is the only way to combat this disease. Of course, we can wear masks, we can do social distancing, which is very important, but the only way to save ourselves from this disease is through vaccines,” Durrani made the comments after participating in the launch of the second Covid-19 vaccination campaign at Dili Convention Center (CCD), today.

Durrani affirmed that for those who have received the two vaccines, it does not mean that they should stop wearing masks, or stop doing social distancing: “Social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands, these are some of the things that we should continue to do so that we can stop the spread of this virus.”

He said the second batch of the Covid-19 vaccine that arrived on Wednesday (09/06) from the COVAX Facility, was part of the 500,000 vaccines that the COVAX Facility had promised to vaccinate 20 percent of Timor-Leste’s population and it would come throughout the year in different batches.

“The first batch came in early April. This was 24.000 vaccines, and the second batch that came yesterday was 100.800. We will continue to receive the vaccines throughout the year and it is part of the COVAX Facility,” said Durrani.

Durrani added COVAX Facility was comprised of several different partners, and the donors contributed to the COVAX Facility, saying, therefore for those countries that cannot afford to buy the vaccines, the COVAX Facility allocated 20 percent for the most at-risk populations.

In addition, Odete da Silva Viegas, Director-General of Health Services said that if all people were committed to receive the vaccine, it would help Timor-Leste get back to normal then at the beginning of 2022.

She said recently the World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called on all countries, including Timor-Leste to vaccinate at least 10 percent of their population by September to achieve WHO’s goal of vaccinating at least 30 percent by the end of 2021.

Viegas said luckily due to the efforts made by the government, together with its humanitarian partners and donors, Timor-Leste had vaccinated more than 10 percent of its population.


Journalist: Filomeno Martins

Editor: Nelia Borges Rosario


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