Dili police Superintendent, Armando Monteiro, farewells quarantine residents at Tasi Tolu on April 30, after they completed the mandatory 14 days (Image/Tatoli)

DILI, 10 May 2020 (TATOLI) – Health authorities have confirmed a cluster of COVID-19 cases at the Hotel Katua’s quarantine site has reduced to just six, after another patient was discharged from isolation.

The student was cleared to return home over the weekend, bringing the number of patients recovered to 22.

Six students who returned from Indonesia on April 1 on this bus remain in isolation with COVID-19. (Image/Cipriano Colo)

Spokeswoman for the Integrated Crisis Management Centre, Odete da Silva Viegas said six other students remain under medical care the Vera Cruz isolation site.

“The six patients are from the cluster of Hotel Katua’s. The total number of Health Professionals who are under quarantine is 53, and there are more health workers who are providing the treatment in [Vera Cruz],” Dr Viegas said on Sunday.

Related news: Covid-19 Cluster at Hotel Katua’s Grows, with Two More Confirmed Cases

The pair were part of a group of Timorese students transferred from the Indonesian border on April 1 by bus. Authorities then tested all 168 people at the Hotel Katua’s quarantine site, where the students were transported, including the driver and conductors.

While a number of the students tested positive for the virus, none had passed it on to a second person via community transmission, Ministry of Health data shows.

More than 2,100 people have completed their 14-day mandatory quarantine as of Monday; 1,663 in sites across Dili and 445 in the districts. Just 96 people remain in quarantine.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Dionísio Babo Soares, said the Ministry of Finance would pay the bill this week to the various hotels which housed and fed the residents.

“The first phase [that’s] linked directly with COVID-19… will be more than [USD] $6 million,” he said.

More testing out in the districts

In yesterday’s daily briefing, the head of CIGC, Rui de Araújo, emphasised that of the 922 people who have been tested for COVID-19, 781 were negative. A further 117 are awaiting results.

Former Prime Minister, Rui Maria de Araújo. (Image/Egas Cristovão)

The former prime minister said the negative results include the previously-reported outbreak in the western town of Liquiça.

“The Sentinel Surveillance samples we took in Liquiça showed 100 percent negative. This is one of the indicators that shows us, to date, there is no evidence of community transmission of COVID-19 in Liquiça,” Dr Araújo said, adding that results from other municipalities are pending.

Related news: Dili Laboratory Begins Testing for Coronavirus Independently

Dr Araújo said the ministry is undertaking proactive screening tests to sniff out any possible local transmission of SARS-CoV-2019, the virus which causes COVID-19.

“Currently the Ministry of Health is making every effort… through the Sentinel Surveillance mechanism to find out whether Timor-Leste has COVID-19 cases within the communities coming from the community transmission, or not,” he said.

Timor-Leste has just 24 confirmed cases of the virus, an infection rate per test of around 2.6%.

More than four million people worldwide have now contracted the virus.

More than a third (1.4 million) have recovered, while 284,385 people have died, according to the latest data from the World Health Organisation.

Read the original Tetum coverage here: COVID-19: Ema Na’in-22 Rekuperadu, Na’in-Neen Sei iha Fatin Izolamentu; Semana Oin, MF Halo Pagamentu ba Otél Ne’ebé Governu Uza ba Fatin Kuarentena

Journalist: Antónia Gusmão, Hortencio Sanchez

Editors: Robert Baird, Julia Chatarina, Agapito dos Santos

Translation: Nelia Borges

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