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COVID-19: what has the CIHEAM done so far?

23 April 2020
The 13 CIHEAM’s  Member States (Albania, Algeria, Egypt, Spain, France, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Tunisia and Turkey) have been facing a very serious pandemic due to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) for several weeks  since February 2020. 
 
The countries hosting the CIHEAM’s Mediterranean Agronomic Institutes in Bari (Italy), Chania (Greece), Montpellier (France) and Zaragoza (Spain) are amongst the most affected across the Mediterranean region. CIHEAM has obviously implemented all preventive measures set forth by the host countries, including lockdown. CIHEAM fully supports these preventive measures, such as washing hands regularly and observing social distancing. They should be strictly respected by the whole CIHEAM’s community to help defeat the coronavirus.
 
In addition, CIHEAM has decided to set up a new corporate working group bringing together representatives from the General Secretariat and the 4 Institutes to tackle this emergency, especially aiming to:
Closely monitor the situation in the host countries and within the Institutes and report the main updates to their Directors. 
Reinforce internal communication and share procedures and good practices about working conditions, sanitary equipment, continuity of services, with a joint approach to detection measures and the best ways to deal with the situation.
Update and provide information about new measures implemented (also including remote working) to protect both the staff  and the students, while keeping in close contact with all of them, dealing with diverse issues including inter alia online training courses, internships, life in the campus (accommodation, food, health measures); follow-up of research and/or cooperation activities as well as monitoring of personnel abroad.
 

CIHEAM Bari (Italy) measures against the spread of COVID-19

 
CIHEAM Bari reiterates its strong commitment to fight against the spread of COVID-19 with the aim of protecting personal health and safety of its staff. Therefore, since 14 April 2020 it has adopted the following provisions: 
1. AGILE AND REMOTE WORKING ENCOURAGED: as long as the epidemiological data of Apulia Region do not demonstrate a substantial decrease in the risk of COVID-19 contagion, CIHEAM Bari will continue to strongly encourage agile and remote working. All employees and non-permanent staff who may ensure work continuity are authorized and recommended to pursue this mode, with a view to limiting as much as possible the number of attendees (in  CIHEAM’s Italian premises both in Bari and in Tricase Porto). For employees, if agile work mode cannot be adopted, the provisions of Article 87, national Decree Law no. 18 of March 17, 2020 will be applied. Specific and individual provisions will be made for non-permanent staff. 
 
2. ON-SITE WORK GRADUALLY AND PROGRESSIVELY RESUMED: Both for employees and non-permanent staff, any request for on-site activities must be justified and substantiated by special needs. With reference to the Prime Minister's Decree of 10 April 2020 (Official Gazette no. 97 of 11.04.2020, which authorises Extraterritorial Organizations and Bodies to reopen from 14 April 2020), on-site work will be resumed gradually and progressively, subject to the application of new safety protocols, aimed at preventing and safeguarding the health of resident students and staff. As of Monday, April 20, on-site activities will gradually re-start through daily shifts, in order to ensure safe conditions for employees, non-permanent staff and suppliers.  
 
3. ENTRANCE TO THE INSTITUTE'S HEADQUARTERS: it will only take place following communication of the personnel previously authorized by the Director to the Security Service. Authorized personnel will guarantee the essential services or other duties with the mandatory use of the necessary hygiene devices (masks, sanitizing gels and, if necessary, disposable gloves) and must be checked for temperature and blood saturation. These measures will also be taken progressively for resident students.
 
4. GENERAL SERVICES: Employees and non-permanent staff present at the Institute will not have access to the canteen service or other common areas such as meeting rooms, etc. They will carry out their activities at their workstations, in strict compliance with interpersonal safety distance. Until further notice, teaching activities will continue to be carried out, where possible, remotely; conferences or workshops will be postponed and, in all possible cases, virtual meetings will be held remotely.