A Timorese woman living in Dungannon, Northern Ireland, has died from COVID-19, the UK Ambassador has confirmed (Image/David Conley)

DILI, 07 May 2020 (TATOLI)- Foreign Minister, Dionísio Babo Soares has confirmed an expatriate living in Northern Ireland has become Timor-Leste’s first death from COVID-19.

Foreign Minister Dionísio Babo Soares said 58-year-old Luciana Viviana da Silva passed away on Sunday night, local time, due to “complications from pneumonia”.

UK Ambassador Gil da Costa has confirmed the Dili-born woman had been living in Dungannon, west of the provincial capital Belfast. Ms Silva, better known as Anoy Soriano, was working for a nearby food manufacturer.

Ambassador Costa has conveyed the country’s “profound condolences” to the woman’s family.

‘We will be missing you’: family

A death notice posted in the local media confirmed Ms Silva was laid to rest in a private funeral on Tuesday, “in line with Government guidelines” for victims of COVID-19.

Her death is described as sudden and “deeply regretted” by family and friends.

“Your smile could brighten everyone’s day, no matter what they were going through, and everyday for the rest of our life. We will be missing you,” the notice read.

Northern Ireland has been disproportionately affected by the virus, with almost 4,000 cases and 404 deaths in a population of just 1.8 million.

The United Kingdom, with 30,150 deaths, is the second-worst hit country after the United States.

Within Timor-Leste, 24 people are confirmed to have contracted the virus — however, all but three have since recovered, and there have been no reported deaths.

Read the original Tetum here: Timoroan Na’in Ida Mate Iha Irlanda Norte Deskonfia Sofre COVID-19

Journalist: Hortencio Sanchez

Editors: Robert Baird, Agapito dos Santos


  1. Terribly sad. Where in Timor-Leste was Anoy from? Did she live with other Timorese workers? Have they been tested? Meat processing is a very dangerous occupation at the moment! Is the Moy Park factory operating? There are so many Timorese workers there. It would be a disaster if SARS-CoV-2 were to spread amongst the Timorese community.

    • Hi Tracey. It is terribly sad. We are following up further details, but the safety of the workers there is certainly a concern. Let’s hope this is the only case in the Timorese community there.


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