UN temporarily closes Zambia office after seven staff members test positive for COVID-19

UN House in Lusaka./Lusaka times
UN House in Lusaka./Lusaka times

The United Nations (UN) on Monday announced the closure of its office in Lusaka, the Zambian capital, after seven staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

The UN said it has temporarily closed all its offices in the Zambian capital to visitors and personnel for a period of 14 days after seven staff members and dependents tested positive for COVID-19, a spokesperson said.

The closure takes effect from August 3, 2020.

Mark Maseko, the information officer, said the closure was meant to strengthen prevention measures against the virus in the workplace.

The closure will also facilitate necessary additional preventive, protective and tracing measures following a rise in the number of UN family in order to mitigate and prevent contamination risks in its premises, he added.

He added that the UN branch in Zambia has been working on a reduced physical footprint for all its premises since the activation of its business community plan in March this year in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

According to him, since the outbreak of the pandemic, all UN agencies continued their operations in support of Zambia’s development and humanitarian priorities and in the implementation of the government COVID-19 multisectoral contingency and response plan, with many of its personnel working under partial or full-time telecommuting.