Epidemiological Brief 18 July 2021

COVID-19 EPIDEMIOLOGICAL BRIEF Nº13-English-released version

 

COVID-19 in Timor-Leste Epidemiological Brief 18 July 2021
Page | 1
COVID-19 in Timor-Leste
Epidemiological Brief Nº13: 12 July – 18 July 2021
A regular brief edited by: (1) Pilar 3 & Pilar 5 of the Ministry of Health (as part of the Task Force for the Prevention and
Mitigation of Covid-19 Outbreak, Integrated Centre for Crisis Management, Situation Room); (2) Instituto Nasional de Saúde;
(3) Menzies School of Health Research; (4) AUSMAT; (5) CoMo Consortium; (6) WHO.
Cumulative cases: 10,128 (305 cases since last report).
Data current as at 18 July 2021.
1. Epidemic curve
The epidemic curve shows the total case numbers for each day, in the green bars (measured
against the y-axis on the left hand side of the graph). The blue line shows the cumulative total
case numbers (measured against the y-axis on the right hand side of the graph), which have
risen now to 10,128 since the beginning of the global pandemic (as at 18 July, 2021).


2. Hospitalisations and mortality
Since 1 March 2021, there have been 248 people with COVID-19 who have required
hospitalisation. Hospitalisation numbers only include those with moderate, severe and critical
disease, who need treatment in specialised healthcare facilities for COVID-19.
This graph shows the cases that have needed hospitalisation since March 2021 in green bars.
The blue line shows the cumulative number of people who have needed hospitalisation.
There have been 26 people who have died with COVID-19. There have been 1 deaths reported
in the last week.


3. Incidence rate estimates
The incidence rate measures the number of confirmed cases in a population, per day, and is
usually measured as cases per 100,000 people per day. The average daily notification rate for
Timor-Leste over the past 7 days (12 July – 18 July 2021) was 3.3 cases per 100,000 population
per day, compared to 3.8 cases per 100,000 population per day in the previous reporting
period.
The notification rate in all municipalities over the last 7 days is reported in the table below.

Municipality Rate per 100,000 population per
day, 5 July – 11 July 2021
Rate per 100,000 population per
day, 12 July – 18 July 2021
Aileu 0.5 0.8
Ainaro 0.7 0.0
Baucau 6.5 6.2
Bobonaro 0.6 1.6
Covalima 0.4 0.5
Dili 9.6 8.0
Ermera 0.7 1.3
Lautem 1.1 1.3
Liquica 0.0 0.2
Manatuto 2.6 0.3
Manufahi 0.0 0.0
Oecusse 0.2 0.2
Viqueque 3.4 2.3
Timor-Leste 3.8 3.3

COVID-19 in Timor-Leste Epidemiological Brief 18 July 2021
Page | 11
4. Test positivity rate
Over the last week, 5.3% (233/4,385) tests in the National Health Laboratory were positive
(compared to 5.5% in the previous reporting period).
In Baucau, 8.2% (54/660) tests were positive over the last week (compared to 11.4% in the
previous reporting period).
5. Genotyping and variants of concern
The National Health Laboratory, with the support of Menzies, is working with the
Doherty Institute in Melbourne, Australia, to do genotypic testing on COVID-19
positive swabs, looking for evidence of variants of concern. High risk positive cases are
selected on a regular basis, for referral for genotypic testing, and there have been 4
batches of testing so far. The most recent batch of results for 239 COVID-19 positive
samples were received last week, with a total of 436 results since May 2020.
Most cases in Timor-Leste 394/436 (90%) are associated with B.1.466.2 and other
similar lineages, in what is called Cluster A. These are common strains of COVID-19
seen in the region, but are not variants of concern.
A small number of other variants
have been identified in quarantined cases, including two cases with variants of
concern that have been reported previously. The first was a case of Alpha variant
(B.1.1.7) in a case from December 2020, and the second was a case of Delta variant
(B.1.617.2) in a case from April 2021. There is no evidence at this stage of further
spread of either of these variants of concern in the community.
There is ongoing transmission of the Delta variant of COVID-19 in many countries
around the world. There is an ongoing risk of introduction of the Delta variant into the
community in Timor-Leste. Screening and testing will continue.
6. Epidemiological modelling
Epidemiological modelling is a way of trying to predict what might happen using available data
and mathematical formulae.
Modelling by the COVID-19 International Modelling (CoMo) Consortium has been done to
predict what the result of introduction of Variants of Concern (like the Delta variant) could be
specifically in Dili, and generally in Timor-Leste as a whole.
Under the current very relaxed restrictions, including the plan to reopen the schools in Dili,
the modelling shows that an introduction of a variant of concern (Alpha, Delta or Delta
Plus), for example, in August 2021, could lead to a large increase in case numbers of up to
4,500 daily cases in Dili alone,
(see figure below), peaking around the 4th week after
introduction.

COVID-19 in Timor-Leste Epidemiological Brief 18 July 2021
Page | 12
Epidemiological modelling for Dili:
Having a high proportion of people fully vaccinated would reduce the impact in terms of
hospitalisation and death, but the impact of high case numbers would be very damaging for
the health system. As such, reinforcing public health measures such as social distancing,
handwashing, avoidance of large gatherings and mask wearing would contribute to
significantly reduce transmission.
7. Vaccination update
As of 17 July 2021, there have been 249,674 first doses of COVID-19 vaccine given in TimorLeste, representing 33.1% of the eligible population of people aged 18 years and above.
Second doses of vaccination have commenced for those who received their first dose more
than 8 weeks ago. As of 17 July 2021, 53,933 had been given their second dose of COVID-19
vaccine in Timor-Leste, representing 7.1% of the eligible population of people aged 18 years
and above. Approximately 19% of people aged 18 years and above in Dili have received their
second dose of COVID-19 vaccine already.
People are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 two weeks after they receive their
second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. People who are fully vaccinated with two doses of the
COVID-19 vaccine are at reduced risk COVID-19 infection. If someone who is fully vaccinated
gets COVID-19 they are likely to have asymptomatic or mild infection only, even if they are old
or have other comorbidities.
8. Recommendations and public health actions
The National Health Laboratory is working with the Doherty Institute to identify opportunities
for rapid testing for variants of concern in selected suspected cases. Ongoing routine batched
testing for genotyping and testing for variants of concern should continue to happen regularly.

COVID-19 in Timor-Leste Epidemiological Brief 18 July 2021
Page | 13
Border control, quarantine and testing of recent arrivals are important to prevent importation
of Delta variant or other variants of concern.
It is essential that adults in Timor-Leste are vaccinated with two doses of vaccine, to prevent
a larger outbreak, especially with the threat of the Delta variant of COVID-19. If the Delta
variant of COVID-19 is introduced into the community in Timor-Leste, it is likely that it will lead
to a second peak, with large numbers of new cases. People who are fully vaccinated, with two
doses of vaccine, will have good protection against severe symptoms and death from COVID-
19, and so with vaccination it is possible to reduce the impact of a future outbreak of the Delta
variant of COVID-19.
As well as vaccination, public health measures to reduce contact between people are
important for reducing the risk of transmission. Face masks, hand washing, physical distancing
and limiting mass gatherings of people continue to be important. The sanitary fences in place
help to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 from municipalities with a high incidence,
to other parts of the country with low rates of COVID-19 currently.
It is important that people who are unwell with respiratory symptoms or fever seek medical
care early, especially if they have comorbidities. Do not wait to seek healthcare. Good
treatment can be provided in Ministry of Health COVID-19 treatment facilities, and the
majority of people with COVID-19 infection will recover. If people with symptoms of COVID-
19 infection stay at home and avoid medical care, there is a risk of poor outcomes including
death at home, and a risk of transmission of COVID-19 to others in the community, including
those who are most at risk.
People diagnosed with COVID-19 should comply with public health orders to isolate to protect
against the spread of COVID-19 to others.
= ENDS =

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap
COVID-19 Timor-Leste

FREE
VIEW