COVID19 Hits African Union – Staff member test positive, AU Chief quarantined

COVID19 Hits African Union – Staff member test positive, AU Chief quarantined

(Image: African Union Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat )

The novel coronavirus chose no other place than the AU Headquaters to rain pandemonium on members of staff.

African Union Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat is “observing quarantine” after a staff member in his office tested positive for COVID-19, an AU source told AFP.

The staff member is a 72-year-old Mauritian man who had returned to Addis Ababa, where the AU is headquartered, from the Republic of Congo on March 14, according to a statement from Ethiopian Health Minister Lia Tadesse.

The statement, which did not mention the man’s AU affiliation, said six people who had contact with the patient are “under follow up”.

The AU source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that Faki had been in contact with the patient.


The person works in the chairperson’s office. The chairperson and his key advisers are among the contacts that are observing quarantine

So far only one AU staff member has tested positive for COVID-19, according to an advisory sent to AU employees on Friday and seen by AFP.

“Any staff member who has been in contact with this staff is by virtue of this communication requested to report to any of the contacts below for advice,” the advisory said.

“There is no reason to panic or to be anxious,” it added.

What strict measures have been imposed?

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the AU has ordered most staffers to work from home and discouraged “non-essential and personal international and local travel”, according to the advisory.

Staff members returning to Addis Ababa from coronavirus-affected countries “should stay at home”, the advisory said.