Vice-Chancellor Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng has written to parents and supporters of UCT students.
Following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address to the nation on Sunday evening, and on the advice of a range of agencies and health specialists, the University of Cape Town (UCT) executive and the Leadership Lekgotla decided to break immediately for UCT’s Term 1 vacation.
Physical classes have been suspended from Monday, 16 March, and students in residences have been given 72 hours to vacate their accommodation. While postgraduate students have been advised to continue working with their supervisors, undergraduate teaching and learning will largely be moved online. Details on this will follow in the week ahead.
While off-site work has been encouraged, essential services will continue on campus.
All non-essential gatherings must be minimised, cancelled or postponed until the end of June 2020. The chancellor’s installation scheduled for Monday, 16 March, has been postponed, and the March graduation ceremonies, due to start on Thursday, 19 March, have been suspended. The Registrar’s Office will send details to graduands about how they can receive their graduation certificates.
UCT’s first case of COVID-19 was confirmed yesterday. The staff member is in isolation at home. Please note that it is critical that we refrain as a community from stigmatising individuals that are affected. In addition, please do not spread rumours or unconfirmed information.
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Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a global pandemic that caused President Cyril Ramaphosa to declare a national disaster in South Africa on 15 March and implement a national lockdown from 26 March. The intention of these drastic measures is to “flatten the curve” and contain the spread of the coronavirus to enable healthcare workers to more effectively treat those affected. Although South Africa has recently reached a peak of COVID-19 infections, the country is expecting a surge in positive cases in August.
UCT is taking the threat of infection in our university community extremely seriously, and this page will be updated regularly with the latest COVID-19 information.
Getting credible, evidence-based, accessible information and recommendations relating to COVID-19
The Department of Medicine at the University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital, are producing educational video material for use on digital platforms and in multiple languages. The information contained in these videos is authenticated and endorsed by the team of experts based in the Department of Medicine. Many of the recommendations are based on current best evidence and are aligned to provincial, national and international guidelines. For more information on UCT’s Department of Medicine, please visit the website.
To watch more videos like these, visit the Department of Medicine’s YouTube channel.
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The Covid-19 crisis has reinforced the global consequences of fragmented, inadequate and inequitable healthcare systems and the damage caused by hesitant and poorly communicated responses.24 Jun 2020 - >10 min read Opinion
Our scientists must not practise in isolation, but be encouraged to be creative and increase our knowledge of the needs of developing economies, write Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, vice-chancellor of UCT, and Professor Thokozani Majozi from the University of the Witwatersrand.09 Jun 2020 - 6 min read Republished
South Africa has been recognised globally for its success in flattening the curve, which came as a result of President Ramaphosa responding quickly to the crisis, writes Prof Alan Hirsch.28 Apr 2020 - 6 min read Republished
In an email to the UCT community, Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng said:
“COVID-19, caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, is a rapidly changing epidemic. [...] Information [...] will be updated as and when new information becomes available.”
We are continuing to monitor the situation and we will be updating the UCT community regularly – as and when there are further updates. If you are concerned or need more information, students can contact the Student Wellness Service on 021 650 5620 or 021 650 1271 (after hours), while staff can contact 021 650 5685.