Martin-Luther C. King, in Accra
Following the spread of the deadly coronavirus across West Africa and globally, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, based in Abuja, Nigeria, has directed its staff to henceforth work from their homes. The ECOWAS Parliament has equally given the same directive to its staff.
ECOWAS also directed all staff to continue to deliver on their assignments.
They were, however, warned against travelling out of their duty station.
The measures, which were contained in an internal update a copy of which was made available to West African Post, are to limit the chances of infection and distribution of the virus.
The statement further stated that staff are expected to consult their emails as well as the various ECOWAS Commission Staff Platforms for further information or instructions.
‘’In line with my statements of 16 and 22 March 2020 regarding the actions to be taken to keep staff from the spread of Covid-19 pandemic and taking onto consideration the rapidly evolving situation in most of the ECOWAS member-countries, I am completing those statements as follows: one, until further notice, all staff must work from home except a minimum number of staff on critical services (security, health, maintenance and IT); two, statutory appointees, permanent and resident representatives, and directors of agencies are encouraged to work from home. They must particularly be available to answer to any queries from national authorities; three, President of the Commission will be available in his office; four, all staff members are to continue to deliver on the assigned duties while at home through ECOLINK, Microsoft teams application and other e-platforms; five, all staff are advised to read and comply with the contents of the circular titled ‘Advisory on the new Coronavirus (covid-19)’ issued by the Commissioner of Human Resources on 13 March 2020. We will continue to monitor evolution of the pandemic situation and keep all staff informed of new decisions in the interest of safety of all staff members,” said the update which was signed by Commission President Jean-Claude Kassi Brou.
ECOPARL, the Economic Community of West African States Parliament (ECOPARL) had similarly directed its staff to work from their homes.
“Directors, heads of divisions and supervisors are to continue to assign work to staff members, and all staff are expected to continue to deliver on their assignments. All staff members are therefore expected to continue to make themselves available and accessible by keeping their telephone lines open for communication through voice and whatsapp. Staff members should also consult their emails as well as the various ECOPARL staff platforms for further information or instructions. Staff members are also expected to continue to access ECOLINK and to attend to any work in their work flows. Please note that the purpose of these measures is to ensure that staff members stay at home to limit the chances of infection by, and distribution of, the virus. Staff members must therefore desist from travelling out of their duty station in the course of these measures. Please stay strictly at home. The security staff will remain at post. They will ensure that visitors are not admitted to the premises of the Parliament during these temporary measures. We urge all staff to continue to keep strict personal hygiene and remain calm until further notice. Regular updates on the evolving situation will be communicated from time to time,” ECOPARL said in a statement.
ECOPARL also directed all staff to continue to deliver on their assignments.
Besides, staff members are expected to continue to make themselves available and accessible by keeping their telephone lines open for communication through voice and WhatsApp.
They are however warned against travelling out of their duty station.
Nigeria, which hosts both the ECOWAS Commission headquarters and ECOPARL, has recorded cases in triple digits, with two deaths.
Globally, over 700,000 cases have been recorded with over 35,000 deaths and over 100, 000 recoveries.
The first COVID-19 outbreak was recorded in mainland China in December 2019.