Last night, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a countrywide lockdown, commencing at midnight, Thursday, 26 March, until 16 April 2020.
This is to contain the spread of the virus and “flatten the curve”. This means that, apart from certain exempt sectors, no one will be allowed to leave their houses, except to buy food or seek medical attention.
UCT requires every student – including those with prior permission to stay – to return home as soon as possible. It is now a legal imperative that all residences close.
All students must leave by 17:00 hours on Wednesday, 25 March. At that time all residences will be locked down, electronic access will be removed and Wi-Fi, electricity and water will be shut off.
UCT will provide travel assistance for students unable to pay for their departure. We will engage with foreign embassies to ensure that international students return safely to their countries.
In addition, no staff will be allowed in any UCT building, including residences. All academic activities, including research, will also cease.
Please support the country and one another to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic.
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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. This was followed by the implementation of a national lockdown, which has been in effect since midnight on 26 March and is currently scheduled until 16 April. The intention of this drastic measure is to “flatten the curve” and contain the spread of the coronavirus to enable healthcare workers to more effectively treat those affected.
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.
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.