The Timorese State Council supported today the 30-day extension of the declaration of a state of emergency in Timor-Leste, requested by the Government, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The members of the Superior Council for Defense and Security (CSDS) also gave a favorable opinion to the extension of the declaration that is in force until Sunday.

“The two councils unanimously recommended that the President write to the National Parliament asking for the extension of the state of emergency,” Francisco Vasconcelos, the head of the Presidency’s Civil House, told reporters.

“Government needs to take measures to respond to the threat of the covid-19. The objective is to protect the people from the disease”, he stressed, at the end of the meetings.

The Council of State, chaired by the Timorese head of State, Francisco Guterres Lu-Olo, was attended by, among others, former Presidents José Ramos-Horta and Taur Matan Ruak, the latter also as current Prime Minister.

Also former President Xanana Gusmão did not participate in the meeting.

The Government approved on Monday in an extraordinary meeting of the Council of Ministers, the request to the Timorese President for a 30-day extension of the state of emergency.

“The need to extend the state of emergency is due to the worrying evolution of the epidemiological situation and the proliferation of registered cases of contagion of covid-19 in the national territory and on a global scale, which require the maintenance of the application of extraordinary and character measures. urgent to stop the pandemic “, justified the Government in defense of the extension.

After hearing the EC and CSDS, Francisco Guterres Lu-Olo will decide whether to support the extension and, if so, send a request to that effect to the National Parliament, whose authorization is necessary.

The debate on Lu-Olo’s request may take place on Thursday or Friday and, if approved, the authorization will again be sent by parliament to the head of state that will enact the extension.

After that, the Government can confirm or change the measures currently in force.

Timor-Leste has 23 confirmed cases of covid-19, including one recovered.

Globally, the covid-19 pandemic has already claimed more than 178,000 deaths and infected more than 2.5 million people in 193 countries and territories.

To combat the pandemic, governments sent 4.5 billion people home (more than half the world’s population), ended non-essential trade and drastically reduced air traffic, paralyzing entire sectors of the world economy.

Source: RTP