East Timor: Government reimposes cordons around Dili, Baucau

The Timorese government decided to renew the sanitary cordons around the two largest cities in the country, Dili and Baucau, and have asked the president to renew the state of emergency in the country for another 30 days.

In today’s meeting, the government also approved a “lottery” of prizes to stimulate vaccination and approved a decree that provides compensation in case of disability or death due to vaccination against Covid-19.

In a statement, the government explained that the cabinet decided after analysing a presentation of the national epidemiological situation.

The government also decided to lift the sanitary cordons around Covalima and Bobonaro, approving a set of decisions related to the ongoing vaccination process to accelerate the inoculation that has been taking place in the country since April 4th.

So far, East Timor has received a total of 294,000 vaccines, of which 144,380 have been administered, and a stock of 149,620 vaccines remains in the country.

“On 30 June, another 20,000 vaccines offered by Australia should arrive, and East Timor is looking to acquire, through purchase or donations, with entities and partners, more vaccines for the remaining population, namely youths under 18 years old”, the government said.

Among the measures approved today, the government set a goal of 10,000 inoculations per day, “guiding the relevant departments to create the necessary mechanisms to accelerate the pace of vaccination.

To encourage vaccination, the government also decided to create the “Vaccine Lottery against Covid-19”, a proposal presented by the minister of finance, Rui Augusto Gomes.

“This lottery consists of randomly awarding prizes to individuals who validly participate in the draw. All persons who are inoculated with the vaccine against Covid-19 in East Timor from July onwards may participate in the “Vaccine Lottery against Covid-19″,” the government said.

“Each prize is worth $100, and the draw is held monthly in each Suco, by the 20th of each month,” it said.

The decision on the number of prizes to be awarded in each draw “depends on the number of people that have been inoculated in the Suco area” (administrative division).

There will be one prize for between 50 and 150 people inoculated that month, three prizes if between 151 and 300 people were inoculated, six if between 301 and 500 people were inoculated, and nine prizes if more than 501 people were inoculated in the suco.

“There is no draw if in a given month there are fewer than 50 people qualified to participate, and those people will be included in the one for the following or subsequent month,” it added.

The finance minister also approved “compensation for possible death or disability due to inoculation with the vaccine against Covid-19”.

“Although the risk of serious side effects caused by the Covid-19 vaccine is quite low, which is largely offset by the benefit of vaccination for the general population, this legislative initiative aims to prevent situations in which more serious side effects are observed and provide due compensation for people who experience these side effects,” the government said.

In the case of “incapacity of less than 30%t caused by the Covid-19 vaccine, compensation of USD 1,000 will be awarded”, a figure that rises to USD 2,100 in the case of incapacity between 30 and 70%.

If the vaccine causes more than 70% disability, $7,000 will be attributed and, in case of death, compensation in the value of $10,000.

East Timor currently has 986 active cases of Covid-19, with 19 deaths and 8,843 cases since the pandemic began.

The national average incidence rate is 4 per 100,000 cases, with 11.2 cases in Baucau, 7.7 in Dili and 6.4 in Manatuto.

There are currently active cases in all municipalities of the country.