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Jakarta Post

East Nusa Tenggara to close border with Timor Leste over coronavirus fears

  • Markus Makur

    The Jakarta Post

Flores   /   Tue, March 17, 2020   /   10:07 am
East Nusa Tenggara to close border with Timor Leste over coronavirus fears Motaain border checkpoint in Belu regency, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT). The government of Timor Leste has expressed support for East Nusa Tenggara's (NTT) decision to temporarily close the border to prevent the spread of coronavirus. (Shutterstock/Kristina Ismulyani)

The government of Timor Leste has expressed support for East Nusa Tenggara's (NTT) decision to temporarily close its border checkpoints to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Antara news agency reported.

"We strongly support the move as it would protect both the Timor Leste and NTT people from COVID-19 exposure," the Timor Leste consul in Kupang, Jesuino Dos Reis Matas C, said Monday during a meeting to discuss the matter with NTT Governor Viktor Bungtilu Laisdokat, as quoted by Antara. 

Timor Leste has yet to report any COVID-19 case, Jesuino said, but he assured that the government was implementing strict health checks on inbound visitors.

It was agreed during Monday's meeting that the border would be closed for two months. Timor Leste, however, expressed hope the policy would not affect the distribution of staple food and fuel oil to the country through border areas.

NTT administration spokesperson Marius Ardu Jelamu said on Saturday that the administration would soon issue a decree to regulate the posts' closure.

"All of the posts will be guarded by security officers. This move is to be taken to prevent the spread of the virus," Marius said. (vny)


If you want to help in the fight against COVID-19, we have compiled an up-to-date list of community initiatives designed to aid medical workers and low-income people in this article. Link: [UPDATED] Anti-COVID-19 initiatives: Helping Indonesia fight the outbreak