IMO headquarters, London

The International Maritime Organisation IMO headquarters building is closed to visitors and members of staff, on Thursday 12 and Friday 13 March, as a precautionary measure due to the COVID-19 virus. This follows the 11 March assessment by the World Health Organisation WHO that COVID-19 can be characterised as a pandemic

The IMO Secretary-General and the Organisation’s Senior Management Committee are monitoring the situation closely. IMO staffers are working from home where possible.

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund IMF on Thursday urged countries to work together in responding to the rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak, and called for more donations to help the poorest countries deal with the escalating pandemic.

IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said it was too early to assess the impact of a sharp drop in oil prices on the global economy, but the Fund would release more precise forecasts reflecting both that development and the pandemic next month.

He said the Fund was working expeditiously to deal with all requests for coronavirus-related assistance from member countries, including Iran.

Sources: IMO, Reuters