The Government of Timor-Leste declared a State of Emergency (SoE) on 28 March 2020, following the first confirmed case of COVID-19 pandemic in Timor-Leste. The declaration originally lasted until 26 April 2020 and was subsequently extended until 27 May 2020. The SoE was declared in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19 and prevent high levels of morbidity and mortality. A country with a weak health system and high level of multi-dimensional poverty, the potential health and socio-economic impact of COVID-19 outbreak in Timor-Leste is huge, with a disproportionate negative impact on the poor, the excluded and the most vulnerable.
To date (13 May), Timor-Leste has had 24 confirmed positive cases, 17 of whom have since recovered, and no death. The last positive case was recorded on 24 April. There has been no known local transmission.
International support to the national health sector preparedness and response to COVID-19 has been ongoing since the early stages of the global outbreak, under the technical coordination and leadership of WHO. In recognition of COVID-19 as a “human crisis” impacting human security, it is imperative that the COVID-19 outbreak response in Timor-Leste is multi-sectoral, with a firm focus and prioritization on addressing the multi-dimensional needs of the people most affected and/or at-risk.