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UN closing New York headquarters to public over virus

11 March 2020 15:55

WASHINGTON. KAZINFORM The UN announced Tuesday it will be closing its New York City headquarters to the public «out of an abundance of caution» because of the spread of the novel coronavirus, Anadolu Agency reports.

The international body earlier decided to reduce the number of staff within its executive branch before opting to close the complex to the general public. Tours will also be suspended at the same time as the closure, which begins at 8 p.m. local time (0000 GMT).

«As the Secretary-General has said, the health and safety of staff is a matter of his utmost priority and concern. The United Nations will continue to monitor the situation closely and further measures may be taken as circumstances evolve,» Stephane Dujarric, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' spokesman, said in a statement.

The UN has not been advised of any COVID-19 cases – the official name of the virus -- among its New York staff «as of now,» Dujarric added.

The decision comes amid a growing number of cases in the state and city of New York.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said Monday the state has 142 cases, including the executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Cuomo announced an additional two dozen cases Tuesday, according to the New York Times.