This campus announcement aims to inform the UCT community about recent Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) updates and other developments on campus.
1. Update on UCT COVID-19 cases
UCT has not had any reported cases of new COVID-19 infections since the last update issued on 6 May 2020. All eight individuals (five staff members and three students) who previously tested positive have now fully recovered.
2. Lockdown letters
In order to foster a sense of community during the COVID-19 lockdown, a new initiative – #UCTLockdownLetters – invites you to share your stories about life and survival at home.
How are you coping as young people under lockdown with your parents, siblings and extended family members? How has the lockdown affected you and your ability to study? What does your study-from-home space look like? What adaptations have you made? How do you cope with stress? How do you keep in touch with friends and fellow students? What will you do differently after the lockdown?
This is your space to express yourself in any medium you choose: in words, prose, poetry, audio, video or pictures. Your contributions will be curated as part of a special platform designed for sharing – and to create a unique archive for future UCT communities.
Please send your submissions to LockdownLetters@uct.ac.za
3. UCT tutorial videos on conferencing and smartphone filming
As the workplace and study environment is redefined and more people are required to work or study from home for the foreseeable future, UCT’s Communication and Marketing Department (CMD) has produced tutorial video resources to assist the UCT community with tips for effective video conferencing and how to create high quality videos with your smartphone. With a focus on remote teaching and learning, there is a need for innovative online solutions. Video is a medium that can allow for higher levels of engagement when operating in a virtual environment. CMD hopes these tips will assist students.
4. Phishing emails on the rise
There have been a spate of phishing emails being sent by external parties to UCT staff and/or students, with the most recent attempt requesting staff member to click a link to approve a salary increase. Upon clicking the link, either a PDF file is downloaded or the recipient is redirected to a malicious website where they are required to enter their UCT username and password. Staff and students are urged to remain vigilant.
Communication and Marketing Department
Read previous communications:
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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.
As the COVID-19 crisis drags on and evolves, civil society groups are responding to growing and diversifying needs – just when access to resources is becoming more insecure, writes UCT’s Prof Ralph Hamann.03 Jul 2020 - 6 min read Republished
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.