Communication from the ICPDR Executive Secretary Regarding COVID-19

News & Media

VIENNA, 17 March 2020 – Following recent developments of the coronavirus, and in line with both the measures taken by the Austrian authorities, and the advice from the Vienna International Centre Medical Service, I have instructed all staff of the ICPDR Secretariat to work from home.

Close up of virus

It is important that we ensure continuity of our work at this difficult time, and thus all staff are well equipped to keep up their work at full capacity from home office. We have also taken some additional measures to set up a remote working environment to keep things running as smoothly as possible during this lock-down. I have to take a moment to thank the entire team for their quick work in getting this contingency plan up and running under the circumstances.

The very core of the ICPDR was founded on a principle of cooperation and solidarity, and it’s more important than ever to keep up that spirit at this time. It is vital that the ICPDR use our unique transboundary relationships and strong bonds to stay united in the face of an unprecedented international health risk situation. 

One of the most important issues for us, is to assure the public that the drinking water in all Danube countries remains unaffected by this virus, and is safe to drink.

The WHO’s official stance on this is that: “Currently, there is no evidence about the survival of the COVID-19 virus in drinking-water or sewage. The morphology and chemical structure of the COVID-19 virus are similar to those of other surrogate human coronaviruses for which there are data about both survival in the environment and effective inactivation measures. Thus, this brief draws upon the existing evidence base and, more generally, existing WHO guidance on how to protect against viruses in sewage and drinking-water.

The ICPDR wishes all citizens of the Danube River Basin the very best throughout this strange and difficult time, and most importantly to keep safe and stay healthy

If you have any questions and queries, please direct them to us at cerff@vpcqe.betgro.rdpci@sserp