NEW YORK, MARCH 13 – Following extensive consultations with senior management, including the Medical Director, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has taken the decision to step up precautionary measures at UN Headquarters to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The decision was announced after a Filipino diplomat became the first person at the 193-member world body known to have tested positive for the coronavirus.
All staff will be required to telecommute unless their physical presence in the workplace is needed to carry out essential services. This will be effective Monday, 16 March, until Sunday, 12 April. After three weeks, the necessity of maintaining a reduced level of staff in the building will be reassessed.
“Our aim is twofold: to reduce our physical presence at United Nations Headquarters, while continuing to deliver on our mandates. It is essential that we reduce social contact to a minimum and follow the clear instructions of the World Health Organization to minimize the risks of transmitting the infection”, said a Spokeperson announcing the new measure.
Guterres has informed Member States and staff of his decision. The Secretary-General and senior management continue to monitor the situation and will take further measures as needed. (@OnuItalia)