Dear colleagues and students
This campus announcement aims to inform the UCT community about recent updates on campus.
1. Africa Month webinars
In commemorating Africa Month, the African Union’s African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), in collaboration with UCT Convocation and the Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance is hosting a three-day Africa Month public symposium under the theme “Africa’s innovations in the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic”.
The symposium got underway on Wednesday, 27 May. Two webinar sessions – “Knowledge systems and knowledge production on the continent” and “Why has Africa been less impacted by COVID 19?” were scheduled for the opening day.
On Thursday, 28 May, the webinar at 11:00 will focus on “Unpacking the climate change and development nexus in Africa: Moving beyond obligations to opportunities”. The last two webinars will take place on Friday, 29 May at 11:00 and 14:00, discussing “Pan-African reflections on leadership and good governance during COVID-19: Good practice, challenges and opportunities” and “COVID-19 philanthropy on the continent: Best practice examples in Africa” respectively.
2. A salute to all UCT colleagues on the frontlines
On behalf of the UCT community, Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng expressed gratitude and solidarity to all UCT staff members working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. She acknowledged those whose work is behind the scenes. Staff from Properties and Services Department continue to ensure that everyone has a clean, well-maintained, secure campus to return to. Colleagues in Campus Protection Services continue to patrol buildings and watch over various campuses. Some Information and Communication Technology Services workers also come on site to do essential work. UCT experts in relevant disciplines such as public health are working long hours with government to develop effective strategies for the province and the nation. Researchers, their students and staff are investigating the virus and seeking ways to fight it.
3. Urgent ICTS maintenance
On Sunday 31 May 2020, Information and Communication Technology Services (ICTS) will conduct important maintenance work in the Upper Campus and Bremner data centres. The work, which will help to boost UCT’s network security, will proceed from 09:00 until 17:00. Unless advised to the contrary, do not expect any ICT services to be available for the duration of the maintenance.
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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 has recently been extended to 30 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.
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.
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.