The African Union Commission has put measures in place to curb the spread of coronavirus.
The headquarters in Addis Ababa is now operating with very few employees, while others have been allowed to work from home.
The Chair of the African Union, President Cyril Ramaphosa, has postponed a scheduled meeting with AU Commissioners citing the need to prioritise South Africa’s response to the coronavirus.
On a normal day, the corridors would be full of activity, with different continental meetings happening concurrently. However, with COVID-19 beginning to spread in Ethiopia, the African Union Commission has scaled back its operations.
Only essential workers are on site. “I commend the management for the measures they have put in place because it is reducing the interaction around and then staff has been requested to work from home or work in schedules which is very commendable because we have a pandemic and drastic measures have to be taken,” says AU Commission employee Allan Gatugi.
Another employee Gedion Mushiringa says, “If I go home now I will be put under quarantine so as well here we are also needed because we have to maintain some core functions to keep them running because I am actually a senior finance officer at the AU. So we are keeping some systems and keeping the organisation to run at a minimal level.”
Only one entrance into the main building is being used and everyone who enters undergoes screening. Sanitizers installed when Africa was grappling with Ebola virus in 2013 have come in handy.
The African Union Commission is trying to set an example by reducing contact between employees. Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahammat is asking all citizens in on the continent to ensure that they take actions that will protect them and prevent the spread of COVID-19.