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COVID-19: latest IAEA updates

All IAEA operations are continuing during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. Safeguards inspections worldwide are continuing but with some travel disruption.

The IAEA has moved towards a significant reduction of its presence at the Vienna International Centre (VIC) from 3 November, for the second time this year.

Most meetings and non-critical travel continue to be postponed, deferred or held virtually. For event updates, please visit the events page. ‘Critical’ meetings and travel will continue to the extent possible in order for the IAEA to deliver on its mandate. 

Precautionary measures have been taken in line with recommendations from Austrian and Viennese authorities. Emphasis continues to be placed on safety such as social distancing, hand hygiene, and the use of face masks in certain areas as well as the need for careful monitoring of the ongoing situation. More details can be found here.

IAEA response capacity for nuclear and radiological emergencies during the COVID-19 pandemic

The IAEA’s Incident and Emergency Centre (IEC), also based in Vienna, continues to ensure that the communication channels for notification and information exchange in nuclear and radiological emergencies irrespective of its cause remain fully operational on a 24/7 basis. The IEC also continues to fully implement its response roles utilizing its established Business Continuity Plan. Further, the IEC continues to prepare and implement the scheduled Convention Exercises (ConvEx) and other planned activities, such as consultancy meetings with Member States, which will be conducted via teleconferencing.

(Last updated: 3 November 2020)

3 November 2020

The IAEA, bearing in mind its mandate and operational requirements, has moved towards a significant reduction of its presence at the VIC from 3 November, in line with the latest measures and guidelines on COVID-19 announced by Austrian and Viennese authorities.

15 June 2020

The IAEA is launching the Zoonotic Disease Integrated Action, or ZODIAC — an initiative to strengthen global preparedness for future pandemics. The project will establish a worldwide network to help national laboratories in monitoring, surveillance, early detection and control of animal and zoonotic diseases such as COVID-19, Ebola, avian influenza and Zika. ZODIAC draws on the technical, scientific and laboratory capacity of the IAEA and its partners, as well as the Agency’s mechanisms to quickly deliver equipment and know-how to countries.

20 April 2020

A series of COVID-19 related webinars has been launched by the IAEA. These expert-led sessions aim to share knowledge and best practices to support health professionals working in radiation medicine — radiotherapy, nuclear medicine, diagnostic imaging — during the global pandemic. The webinars also include sessions on radiation protection, such as the use of computed tomography (CT) scans for assessing COVID-19. For more information, visit the COVID-19 Webinar page.

6 April 2020

IAEA staff have been instructed to continue telecommuting until 30 April as part of continued efforts to limit social contact and slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Restrictions on access to the VIC will also continue during this period. This extension reflects the restrictions and measures announced by the Austrian and Viennese authorities on 6 April 2020. The latest information from these authorities can be found here in English and German.

1 April 2020

The IAEA dispatched its first batch of equipment to more than 40 countries to enable them to use real time RT-PCR, a nuclear-derived technique, to rapidly detect the coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 disease. This emergency assistance is part of the IAEA’s response to requests for support from over 90 countries. In addition to using its own resources, the IAEA has also received extrabudgetary contributions from several Member States. Read more here.

26 March 2020

With more than 2.5 billion people in self isolation worldwide, the IAEA’s hundreds of free online nuclear-related courses offer a way to keep connecting and learning despite the lockdown. These courses range from basic to advanced and cover areas such as nuclear safety and security, radiation protection, sustainable energy development, the use of nuclear applications and more. Learn more about the courses.

17 March 2020

The planned training course on detecting COVID-19 using nuclear techniques is foreseen to take place at the IAEA laboratories in Seibersdorf, Austria, later this month. Read this article for more details.

A confirmed case of COVID-19 involving a cleaning staff at the Vienna International Centre (VIC) was announced on Tuesday, 17 March 2020. The case was initially diagnosed by Austrian authorities as influenza and later on 16 March 2020 the authorities informed the VIC Medical Services that the person tested positive for COVID-19. The VIC Medical Service assessed and found zero risk to first responders to the case and no residual risk to personnel at the VIC.

15 March 2020

IAEA staff with critical functions are now telecommuting and accessing the VIC only if absolutely necessary. This reflects restrictions and measures announced by the Austrian and Viennese authorities on 15 March 2020. The latest information from these authorities can be found here.

13 March 2020

COVID-19: IAEA Implements Measures Following Recommendations from Austrian Authorities

In line with recommendations from Austrian authorities, the heads of the four main Vienna-based United Nations organizations, including the IAEA, announced that all personnel at the Vienna International Centre (VIC) have been instructed to work remotely from Monday 16th to Friday 3rd April 2020. Private visitors will also not have access to the VIC until further notice. This is a precautionary measure to reduce the risk of transmission of the COVID-19 coronavirus at the Vienna International Centre, where some 5,000 people from around 125 countries work. 

Read more here.

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