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No change of phase in lockdown at UN Headquarters in New York: spokesman

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-04-29 09:57
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The United Nations logo is seen on a window in an empty hallway at United Nations headquarters in New York on September 21, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

UNITED NATIONS -- There is no change of phase in lockdown at UN Headquarters in New York despite the New York State's recent loosening of restrictions, said a spokesman on Wednesday.

"There's no official change of phase to announce at this point. So, we will continue to evaluate those circumstances," said Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

"At this stage, we're still at one that essentially caps off at about 20 percent of the (UN Secretariat) building. But we're actually and have remained somewhat below that level in recent months, as you probably have noticed just from being in the building yourself," he told reporters.

"We're continuing our plans to return to the building. And it's gradually going to be stepping up, we expect. Among other things, in addition to the changes in the New York rules, more UN staff are themselves receiving vaccinations in accordance with the appropriate procedures in the United States. And so we expect, as that happens, more people will be able to come to the building."

On Tuesday, the total number of swipes of IDs was 1,315, which included about 570 for staff, said Haq.

"So, that's a rough determination of where we stand. It's a little bit more than we've had in recent weeks, insofar as it's above 1,000 swipes. But ... we're still at a fairly low level of presence in the building."

About 11,000 swipes would be registered on a normal day before the lockdown that was first imposed in March 2020.

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