THE United Nations in Zambia has temporarily closed all its offices in Lusaka for 14 days following some personnel who tested positive for COVID-19.
The closure, which affects all UN personnel, visitors and the majority of contract workers, is with effect from August 3.
According to a statement, the closure would facilitate necessary additional preventive, protective and tracing measures following a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in the UN family in order to mitigate and prevent contamination risks in its premises.
It stated that throughout the period of temporary closure, the UN in Zambia would continue operating on a full-time telecommuting arrangement as per normal working hours.
The UN stated that it had been operating on a reduced physical footprint for all its premises since the activation of its Business Continuity Plan (BCP) in March 2020, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Notwithstanding, all UN agencies continued their operations in support of Zambia’s development and humanitarian priorities, in particular the implementation of the government COVID-19 Multisectoral Contingency and Response Plan, with many of its personnel working under partial or full-time telecommuting,” it stated.
It stated that while the UN in Zambia introduced strict measures in its premises and facilities, including temperature checks, hygiene and sanitation stations, wearing of masks and physical distancing to prevent the contamination in the workplace, a cumulative total of four UN personnel and three UN dependents had tested positive for COVID-19 as of August 1.
“Against this backdrop, the United Nations will temporarily close all its offices in Lusaka to its personnel, visitors and the majority of contract workers for a period of 14 days effective 3 August in line with its BCP and in consultation with the national authorities,” reads the statement.
“The United Nations in Zambia stands in solidarity with the Government and people of Zambia as it has done over the past 56 years, and will continue its support the COVID-19 Multisectoral and Contingency Response Plan, the implementation of the 7th National Development Plan (7NDP) and all efforts to help the country recover from the impact of COVID-19.”