By John Okeke
The President of the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Jean Claude Kassi Brou, has expressed the commission’s commitment to fully support Member States of the regional bloc in their efforts to curb the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic ravaging the region and the world.
Brou made this declaration in a statement issued by the Communications Division of the Commission and made available to The Authority by in Abuja yesterday .
The President called on the population to comply with the directives issued by health authorities and observe basic hygiene instructions, saying “together and in solidarity, we shall defeat COVID-19.”
The virus has already infected over 300,000 people and killed nearly 14,000 people around the world.
Brou lamented the deaths witnessed so far in the region as a result of the virus including the three deaths in Burkina Faso and the one recorded on Monday in Nigeria amid nearly 200 confirmed cases across our region.
He therefore offered his condolences to the countries and families of the diseased and wished a speedy recovery to the people affected by the virus.
Meanwhile ECOWAS also announced it will not welcome visitors and has directed staff members to work from home effective immediately as part of measures to prevent and contain the spread of the Coronavirus.
John Azumah, the Secretary General of ECOWAS Parliament in a memo directed to all staff members said “with effect from today (Monday) 23 March 2020, and until further notice, all staff are STRONGLY encouraged to work from home.”
He said this was in line with the update issued by the ECOWAS President on measures being taken by ECOWAS to prevent and contain the spread of the Coronavirus.
According to the Secretary General, “Directors, Heads of Divisions and Supervisors are to continue to assign work to staff members and all staff are expected to deliver on their assignments.”
He urged all staff members to make themselves available and accessible by keeping their phone lines open for communication through voice and WhatsApp and regularly check their emails.
He noted that the purpose of these measures is to ensure that staff members stay at home to limit chances of infection and distribution of coronavirus.
He directed that staff members must therefore desist from traveling out of their duty station in the course of these measures and added that they should stay strictly at home.
“Security staff will remain at post. They will ensure that visitors are not admitted into the premises of the parliament during these temporary measures,” Azumah said.