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Timor-Leste Ramps Up COVID-19 Fight, Applies Two More Sanitary Fences, First Pfizer Vaccines secured

DILI: Timor-Leste on Wednesday approved two more sanitary fences in the Oecusse enclave, while the Minster of Health confirmed the country’s first shipment of Pfizer vaccines as Timor-Leste works to control the spread of coronavirus.

The new sanitary fences will cover Naimeco village in the Pante Makasar Administrative Post and Bobometo village in the Oesilo Administrative Post, in Oecusse Ambeno from 5 August to 18 August, a government statement said.

Under the measures, movement of people between these villages and the remaining administrative districts “is prohibited, except in cases whose grounds for public security, public health, humanitarian assistance, maintenance of public supply systems or other reasons of public interest.”

As with Timor-Leste’s existing sanitary fences in Dili and Ermera, movement of individuals who have completed vaccination (two doses) against COVID-19, and children under the age of 6 are exempt from the restrictions.

Timor-Leste said it had 1,084 active COVID-19 cases, with more than half (588) in Ermera, 291 in Dili and 49 in Viqueque, according to data released on Tuesday by the Integrated Centre for Crises Management (ICCM).

The increasing number of new cases in areas outside the capital city comes as the government continues to appeal for COVID-19 vaccination supply and push vaccination as a way out of the pandemic.

The Minister of Health Odete Maria Freitas Belo said on Tuesday the country will receive 6,620 Pfizer vaccines through the COVAX initiative, potentially providing the first vaccines for children aged 12-17 years.

Timor-Leste has some 150,000 children in this age bracket, said Belo “who must receive their vaccines.”

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