26 March 2020

East Nusa Tenggara closes border with Timor Leste over coronavirus fears

Map showing border East Timor and Indonesia Border closed COVID19
The Jakarta Post reported on 17 March 2020 that the Motaain border checkpoint in Belu regency, East Nusa Tenggara was closed.

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, is reported to have said during a meeting with NTT Governor Viktor Bungtilu Laisdokat, as quoted by Antara.

Jesuino 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.

See also on ETLJB

Government presented to the National Parliament the contingency plan to prevent the coronavirus outbreak

East Timor confirms first case of COVID-19

COVID-19 provokes xenophobia in East Timor

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