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International institutions, embassies in Egypt take precautionary actions against COVID-19 - Daily News Egypt

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International institutions, embassies in Egypt take precautionary actions against COVID-19

EUD, EBRD, US embassy allow employees to work remotely

Several international financial institutions, embassies, and cultural centres in Egypt are taking precautionary measures against the spread of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), through lowering staff numbers in offices, allowing employees to work from home, and limiting working hours for those who have to come to office.

“The European Union has been taking preventive measures in its institutions in Brussels and in Delegations amid the international outbreak of COVID-19,” the Head of EU Delegation (EUD) to Egypt, Ivan Surkoš, told Daily News Egypt.

“Our employees at the EUD to Egypt started this week to telework from home. A core team will still come to the office every day for limited hours,” Surkoš said, adding that this will continue until the end of March while an assessment will be made by then to decide if EUD will further extend this work modality.

All the staff at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) office in Cairo is working from home to avoid gatherings at the office, a source from the EBRD said, adding that some other EBRD regional offices allowed remote working for the same purpose.

Notably, EBRD has unveiled an emergency €1bn Solidarity Package of measures to help companies across its regions deal with the impact of the COVID-19, according to a statement last Friday.

The United States embassy in Egypt allowed part of its staff to work remotely this week to decrease gatherings at offices, a source from the US embassy said, adding, “employees should carefully follow up the work. Next week, we will evaluate the workflow to ensure the best way that work should be processed during these abnormal conditions.”

On 13 March, the US embassy in Egypt announced postponing nonimmigrant visa appointments scheduled during the period from 15 March to 9 April, based on US and the Egyptian government recommendations to avoid large gatherings and observe social distancing.

On 11 March, the American Center of Cairo (ACC) announced temporary closing of the ACC to visitors as part of its precautionary measure in line with the Prime Minister of Egypt’s statement suspending events. ACC will organise upcoming virtual programmes over the next period.

Additionally, a source from the Chinese embassy in Egypt told DNE that the embassy applied a new rotational system of work allowing some staff members to work from home while others work from the office, adding that the safety of employees is a priority.

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