PNTL Commissioner, Faustino da Costa (Image/PNTL)

DILI, March 30, 2020 (TATOLI) – The Commander of the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL), Commissioner Faustino da Costa, has again appealed for people to comply with the rules of the State of Emergency decree, saying he’s concerned about the movement of people around the city.

The commissioner said on Monday “several people” have been brought to attention for failing to comply with the rules of the decree, which came into effect on Saturday night.

“We are concerned about the movement of people on the streets of Dili after the state of emergency was enacted this weekend. Despite the reduction in the number of vehicles circulating in the capital, road traffic remains normal,” Cmdr Faustino told reporters in Dili.

State Secretary for Social Communication, Merício Akara, washes his hands outside the Lita Supermarket on Sunday, March 22 (Image/Florencio Miranda Ximenes)

Commissioner Faustino visited stores and supermarkets on Monday morning, reminding people of the Covid-19 containment measures, such as washing hands, wearing a mask and respecting social distance of at least one metre.

He said PNTL officers have been carrying out inspections at businesses in the city, which are allowed to remain open under the order, provided they enforce hygiene standards.

Commissioner Faustino said he was concerned some stores have not installed hand washing stations at the entrance, as they are obliged to, and some customers are not using the ones that have been installed.

The PNTL Command also placed several police units in different parts of Dili in order to check whether the drivers of vehicles are respecting all the rules that aim to contain the spread of the virus.

According to the observation of the Tatoli journalist this Monday (30/03), countless people went to stores and supermarkets to buy essential goods.

Prime Minister, Taur Matan Ruak, has appealed for residents to remain at home as much as possible in order to limit the chance of the virus spreading.

The PNTL suspended its own 20th anniversary ceremony in light of the response to the pandemic. The ceremony was due to take place last Friday.

Timor-Leste has reported just one confirmed case of the virus, but authorities said that the patient began to recover from the illness over the weekend.

Read the original Portuguese story here: Autoridades policiais: Circulação de pessoas desrespeita estado de emergência

Journalist: Eugénio Pereira

Editors: Robert Baird, Francisco Simões

Translation: Nelia Borges

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