Dili: monument to Pope John Paul’s visit to Timor Leste, 1989
As of today, thankfully, there is only one confirmed case of COVID-19 in Timor Leste, which was detected on 21 March. The Timor Leste mission has informed us of several precautions being undertaken by the local authorities to limit the spread of the disease. The Timor Leste/Indonesia border near Batugade is now closed. In the capital Dili, public transport is not operating, and many shops have closed, and most significantly, the latest information indicates that Dili’s only shopping mall, Timor Plaza is now closed due to COVID-19 precautions. In addition, all schools throughout Timor Leste are closed as everyone who is non-essential has been told to stay home. We have been told that Dili is very quiet now.
Closer to the mission, at Maliana, several of the larger shops have closed already as many residents are staying home. In Maliana, Memo and Saburai, the schools and churches are closed, and most people are staying indoors. The whole area from Maliana to Saburai is very, very quiet.
We pray that the spread of the virus is restricted and thus the people of the many poor villages throughout Timor Leste are kept free of COVID-19, which if left unchecked could have a crippling effect on the nation.
We pray that the mantle of our Heavenly Mother covers the whole island.
St Pope John Paul II pray for us!
Keep safe during this difficult time
Trevor and Tina
Normally much busier than this at Maliana
Staying inside at Maliana
School at Memo, closed
Church closed at Memo
Very quiet at Saburai
Very, very quiet
The upper Saburai school is closed
Solitude at Saburai Mountain
Being quarantined is the new norm