UN postpones Africa climate week in Kampala, Uganda, over coronavirus

The United Nations has put on hold the Africa Climate Week scheduled to take place in Kampala, Uganda, between April 20 and April 24, 2020, to protect participants and prevent the spread of the coronavirus which causes a potentially deadly respiratory disease called COVID-19.

Mid-day on Saturday, the virus had spread to more than 80 countries around the world, infected 105,558 people and killed 3,555 others while 58,354 patients had recovered, according to virus tracker maintained by Johns Hopkins.

In Africa

At least 42 cases of coronavirus had been reported in 9 countries – TogoCameroon, South AfricaNigeria, SenegalAlgeriaTunisiaMorocco and Egypt, but no fatality had been recorded.

In Algeria, there were 17 cases of coronavirus infection, 16 of them in the same family. Egypt has reported 15 cases. There were also four people infected in Senegal and two in Morocco. as well as one each in NigeriaTunisiaCameroon, and Togo, according to virus tracker maintained by Johns Hopkins.

Coronavirus in Africa as of Saturday, March 6, 2020

17 Algeria2 Morocco1 Togo
15 Egypt1 South Africa1 Nigeria
4 Senegal1 Cameroon1 Tunisia

The UN emphasized the Climate Week in Kampala was only postponed, and not canceled, and will take place at a later time that has yet to be determined.

“The UN Climate Change secretariat, in close collaboration with all the other organizing partners, has decided to put Africa Climate Week in Kampala on hold. This is to ensure the health and safety of all participants in light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19),” the UN said in a statement on Friday.

It added: “The Ministry of Health of Uganda has issued guidance that arrivals in Uganda from the most affected countries will be held quarantine in government hospitals if they display symptoms, or will be placed in self-isolation for 14 days if they do not display symptoms.

“In light of this, the United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) has requested that events and workshops with participants from affected countries to be placed on hold so as not to contravene instructions from the Government of Uganda and for the safety and wellbeing of UN personnel working in Uganda.

“Uganda will remain the host country, and preparations will continue to ensure the best possible results of the meeting, designed to share ways for governments to implement the Paris Agreement in Africa and to serve as a platform for national governments and non-Party stakeholders to engage, build partnerships and explore solutions that can deliver climate action and support at scale.

“Africa Climate Week is being hosted by the Republic of Uganda.  Key partners are UN Climate Change, the World Bank Group, the UN Development Program, the UN Environment Program, the UN Economic Commission for Africa, the African Union and the African Development Bank”.

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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