Dear colleagues and students
I am writing to inform you that we have confirmed a fifth positive case of COVID-19 at the University of Cape Town (UCT). It is a student.
We previously confirmed four other cases – three colleagues and a student – this brings the total now to five. Unlike the previous four cases, this case was confirmed in KwaZulu-Natal.
The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Department of Health confirmed the case through the prescribed protocol and is caring for the student and conducting contact tracing.
Please note we are committed to maintain confidentiality in relation to the medical conditions of staff and students. This includes the information in relation to testing for whatever infectious or non-infectious diseases a person may have and is an important ethical imperative.
Breaking that confidentiality is not acceptable and for healthcare professionals, who include health scientists, it is against all moral codes. Naming people in e-mails or over social media platforms or releasing information about them that could identify them must please be avoided.
We wish our colleagues and students well and a speedy return to good health. As our country commences our national lockdown, I wanted to let each of you know – staff and students – that myself and the UCT leadership are thinking of each and everyone of you as we commit as a nation to fighting this pandemic.
Please visit UCT’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 feature page on the UCT News website, which has all the relevant information in relation to UCT’s response to the pandemic.
Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng
Updates will be posted on UCT’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 feature page on the UCT News website.
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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 with the latest COVID-19 information. Please note that the information on this page is subject to change depending on current lockdown regulations.
Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla, has in June 2022 repealed some of South Africa’s remaining COVID-19 regulations: namely, sections 16A, 16B and 16C of the Regulations Relating to the Surveillance and the Control of Notifiable Medical Conditions under the National Health Act. We are now no longer required to wear masks or limit gatherings. Venue restrictions and checks for travellers coming into South Africa have now also been removed.
“After almost a year of operation, the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Community of Hope Vaccination Centre, located at the Forest Hill residence complex in Mowbray, will close on Friday, 29 July 2022. I am extremely grateful and proud of all staff, students and everyone involved in this important project.”
– Vice-Chancellor Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng
With the closure of the UCT Community of Hope Vaccination Centre, if you still require access to a COVID-19 vaccination site please visit the CovidComms SA website to find an alternative.
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.
“As a contact university, we look forward to readjusting our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in 2023 as the COVID-19 regulations have been repealed.”
– Prof Harsha Kathard, Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning
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.