ECOWAS Sets Up Help Desks, Restricts Missions, Meetings To Combat CoronavirusFeatured, Latest News, West Africa Tuesday, March 17th, 2020
(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – To fight the spread of the coronavirus disease in West Africa, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has directed the establishment of Committees on Coronavirus Management in all its institutions.
It also placed stringent restriction on meetings and missions as well as cancelled all prior approvals for meetings or mission, directing all institutions, committees or missions to seek fresh approvals for events that were not already ongoing.
A statement issued by ECOWAS President Jean-Claude Brou, noted that the virus had infected more than 168,000 people in over 140 countries including some in West Africa, and has killed more than 6,000.
The statement reads: “ECOWAS remains committed to its mandate and the safety of their staff and other stakeholders. In this regard, ECOWAS would therefore take all necessary preventive and containment measures to mitigate the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
“A Committee on Corona Virus Management is hereby established at the ECOWAS Commission and all other ECOWAS Institutions and Agencies are requested to establish a similar Committee.
“In pursuance of appropriate measures to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, and to ensure that staff are available for possible deployment to support Member States, the ECOWAS Commission on the advice of West African Health Organization (WAHO) has decided in the abundance of caution that effective immediately:
“Only critically necessary missions will be approved; All Missions that have not started will be resubmitted to the Head of Institution for approval; WAHO Covid 19 Guidance for ECOWAS Missions will apply after approval.
“All staff who have been on mission to any high burden country or country with local transmission within 2 weeks of returning to their duty station should go into self-isolation for fourteen (14) calendar days, counting day 1 as the day the staff left the hotspot country. Transit at the airport does not apply,”
“All staff members and other stakeholders are advised to comply with the health advisory on the Covid-19 virus issued by WAHO and the national or regional centre for disease control.
“I urge all staff not to panic but ensure that they remain calm and healthy. All staff are advised to go about their normal duties calmly whilst practicing personal hygiene and social distancing in a professional manner,”
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