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COVID-19: Timor-Leste Re-Opens Religious Gatherings Featured

Covid-19: Timor-Leste has lifted a ban on its citizens participating in religious gatherings, Minister of the Presidency Of the Council of Ministers Fidelis Magalhaes said on Wednesday, albeit with strict health measures enforced.

Magalhaes said in a statement that the rule change was ushered in to provide spiritual support to people during the current “crises situation.”

He also said churches can play an important role in conveying COVID-19 prevention information to its congregation.

′′ In a crisis situation like this, spiritual accompaniment is very important and the Church, as the strength of the Timorese society can take advantage of religious ceremonies to convey messages of prevention,” he said.

The decision came after a request was made by the Archbishop of the Diocese of Dili, Virgil of Carmo da Silva, noting that the Church has committed to ′′ ensuring compliance with all health measures ", including social distancing and wearing of masks, Lusa reported.

As of Wednesday Timor-Leste has reported 2666 active cases of coronavirus and 14 deaths, the majority in Dili, according to official data.

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