The importance of confidentiality in managing reported cases of COVID-19

22 March 2020 | Dr Reno Morar, COO

Dear colleagues and students

I write on the matter of the confidentiality as it relates to reported cases of COVID-19 at the University of Cape Town (UCT).

You will be aware that we have confirmed three cases of COVID-19 at our institution as of Sunday, 22 March.

In all cases, our colleagues immediately self-isolated and informed their respective departments. The Provincial Department of Health began immediate contact tracing in all three cases and identified people that were in close contact with our colleagues. Those individuals are also now quarantined for two weeks. We are continuing to monitor the situation.

The experience of the three cases has taught us some valuable lessons and I am therefore drawing your attention to the fact that we have to ensure confidentiality at all times.

As the Vice-Chancellor expressed in her latest VC Desk, confidentiality is important when we are dealing with the medical conditions of our staff and students. Breaking that confidentiality is not acceptable for healthcare professionals (which includes health scientists) as it is against their ethical codes. We must in all reported cases (via our email messages, on social media, or in conversations) ensure that we maintain confidentiality. Hence heads of departments and everyone else dealing with a case must be circumspect about sharing information that could identify people and their medical status.

I am asking that you note and share this information with colleagues and fellow students to ensure that the need for confidentiality is upheld.


Dr Reno Morar
Chief Operating Officer

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UCT’s response to COVID-19

COVID-19 is a global pandemic that caused President Cyril Ramaphosa to declare a national disaster in South Africa on 15 March 2020 and to implement a national lockdown from 26 March 2020.

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. Please note that the information on this page is subject to change depending on current lockdown regulations.

Campus communications


Adjusting to our new environment 16:50, 23 June 2022
VC Open Lecture and other updates 17:04, 13 April 2022
Feedback from UCT Council meeting of 12 March 2022 09:45, 18 March 2022
Chair of Council
March 2022 graduation celebration 16:45, 8 March 2022
Report on the meeting of UCT Council of 21 February 2022 19:30, 21 February 2022
Chair of Council
COVID-19 management 2022 11:55, 14 February 2022
Return to campus arrangements 2022 11:15, 4 February 2022

Thank You UCT Community

Frequently asked questions


Global Citizen Asks: Are COVID-19 Vaccines Safe & Effective?

UCT’s Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM) collaborated with Global Citizen, speaking to trusted experts to dispel vaccine misinformation.

If you have further questions about the COVID-19 vaccine check out the FAQ produced by the Desmond Tutu Health Foundation (DTHF). The DTHF has developed a dedicated chat function where you can ask your vaccine-related questions on the bottom right hand corner of the website.

IDM YouTube channel | IDM website

UCT Community of Hope Vaccination Centre

The University of Cape Town in partnership with the Western Cape Government (WCG) have reinforced our commitment to bringing hope to the residents of the Mother City with the launch of the world‑class Community of Hope Vaccination Centre that opened its doors on Monday, 30 August 2021.

The site is located on Main Road in Mowbray – in the Forest Hill Residence – and access is from Broad Street. The site is open every Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 15:00 and on Saturday from 09:00 to 13:00. Please allow time for attending to COVID-19 protocols and arrive as early as possible at the vaccination centre.


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.