Latest on COVID-19 and other updates

22 April 2020 | Campus Announcement

Dear colleagues and students

This campus announcement aims to inform the University of Cape Town community about recent developments around the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and other updates on campus.

1. Updates on UCT COVID-19 cases

For the second successive week, UCT has not received reports of any new positive COVID-19 cases. The confirmed number of positive cases at UCT remains seven – four staff members and three students – with one recovery.

2. Emergency COVID-19 fund set up

UCT has set up a COVID-19 emergency fund to assist in the fight against the virus and its impact on the UCT community. Members of the UCT community who are able to are urged to rally behind the fight against the pandemic by making contributions to the fund.

  • Read the full media release.

  • 3. Provision of data for students

    UCT is providing pre-paid data to all students who have valid South African cell numbers as part of extensive support measures put in place for online learning. Each student will receive 30-40GB depending on their network provider, valid for 30 days. Cellphone providers have agreed to the university’s request to zero-rate access to certain UCT websites.

    4. Online orientation gets underway

    This week students began online orientation week in order to prepare for the start of the second term on 28 April 2020. Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng called on parents, sponsors and guardians to offer support to students by creating space and time in the home as students embark on the online programme.

    5. Update for postgraduate students

    During the lockdown the UCT leadership has been working to ensure that there is continued support for the postgraduate community as they represent the future generation of researchers and experts at the university.

    Taught postgraduate degrees and diplomas are now either ready to go online or already active online, with course conveners exploring varied approaches to deliver these courses. For postgraduates involved in research degrees, they need to contact their supervisors and set up an arrangement for continued supervision if this is not already in place. Postgraduate students also need to ensure they have completed the online survey which the university is using to identify postgraduates to take part in the laptop loan scheme for South African students, as well as gauging the connectivity and ability of our postgraduates to do academic work in their home environments.

    6. Update on the new teaching framework and academic calendar

    The academic calendar has been rearranged to enable for the completion of the semester and academic year. Some of the support measures for students that have been prioritised include, but are not limited to, access to data, regular communication, ensuring access to learning material and introducing a new online learning environment.

    7. COVID-19 additional video messages

    The UCT Department of Medicine and Groote Schuur Hospital have produced additional 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.

    8. OIC Survivor Support Group

    The Office of Inclusivity and Change will host online survivor support groups for staff and students who have experienced sexual and domestic violence. The sessions will be held every Tuesday from 17:30-19:30 on the Microsoft Teams platform. The online support groups will be a semi-structed psycho-social educational group to assist survivors in coping with their trauma. For more information and to join the online sessions please email Survivor Support Case Officer & Counsellor,

    9. Online COVID-19 session for alumni

    The Development and Alumni Department hosted a live online discussion on COVID-19, addressed by Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, members of the UCT executive and some of the university’s academics doing various research work as part of the fight against the pandemic.

    The session for alumni was held on Tuesday, 14 April 2020.

    Updates were shared by the executive on UCT’s response to the pandemic, plans to complete the academic year, UCT’s approach to research, and on how support is being provided to international students. The academics briefed alumni on UCT’s role in helping to find a vaccine, the university’s clinical contributions, and social distancing practices for staff and students post the lockdown.

    10. NSFAS allowances during the COVID-19 lockdown

    The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has issued an update on student allowances during the COVID-19 lockdown. NSFAS has activated a business continuity plan to facilitate uninterrupted funding to students, resolution of student applications queries, processing of appeals and general assistance to institutions with NSFAS administration.


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    Coronavirus Disease 2019 updates

    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.

    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.

    Frequently asked questions


    Daily updates

    Friday, 5 February 14:20, 5 February 2021
    Monday, 4 January 16:50, 4 January 2021
    Friday, 18 December 11:30, 18 December 2020
    Thursday, 19 November 09:30, 19 November 2020
    Friday, 13 November 12:40, 13 November 2020
    Friday, 16 October 10:05, 16 October 2020
    Wednesday, 14 October 12:50, 14 October 2020
    Tuesday, 22 September 14:10, 22 September 2020
    Friday, 11 September 10:05, 11 September 2020
    Monday, 31 August 12:20, 31 August 2020
    Wednesday, 12 August 10:20, 12 August 2020
    Friday, 7 August 11:24, 7 August 2020
    Thursday, 6 August 18:26, 6 August 2020
    Monday, 27 July 14:00, 27 July 2020
    Wednesday, 15 July 09:30, 15 July 2020
    Monday, 13 July 14:25, 13 July 2020
    Monday, 6 July 16:20, 6 July 2020
    Thursday, 25 June 10:15, 25 June 2020
    Tuesday, 23 June 12:30, 23 June 2020
    Thursday, 18 June 17:35, 18 June 2020
    Wednesday, 17 June 10:45, 17 June 2020
    Tuesday, 2 June 12:20, 2 June 2020
    Friday, 29 May 09:25, 29 May 2020
    Monday, 25 May 14:00, 25 May 2020
    Thursday, 21 May 12:00, 21 May 2020
    Wednesday, 6 May 10:00, 6 May 2020
    Tuesday, 5 May 17:05, 5 May 2020
    Thursday, 30 April 17:10, 30 April 2020
    Tuesday, 28 April 10:30, 28 April 2020
    Friday, 24 April 09:35, 24 April 2020
    Thursday, 23 April 17:00, 23 April 2020
    Wednesday, 22 April 14:25, 22 April 2020
    Monday, 20 April 17:45, 20 April 2020
    Friday, 17 April 12:30, 17 April 2020
    Thursday, 16 April 09:45, 16 April 2020
    Tuesday, 14 April 11:30, 14 April 2020
    Thursday, 9 April 09:00, 9 April 2020
    Wednesday, 8 April 15:40, 8 April 2020
    Wednesday, 1 April 15:50, 1 April 2020
    Friday, 27 March 11:40, 27 March 2020
    Thursday, 26 March 18:30, 26 March 2020
    Tuesday, 24 March 15:40, 24 March 2020
    Monday, 23 March 15:40, 23 March 2020
    Friday, 20 March 16:00, 20 March 2020
    Thursday, 19 March 09:15, 19 March 2020
    Wednesday, 18 March 16:00, 18 March 2020
    Tuesday, 17 March 12:50, 17 March 2020
    Monday, 16 March 17:15, 16 March 2020

    Campus communications


    New SRC and other updates 16:44, 4 November 2020
    Virtual graduation ceremonies 13:30, 21 October 2020
    Online staff assembly and other updates 15:09, 30 September 2020
    Fee adjustments and other updates 15:21, 16 September 2020
    Call for proposals: TLC2020 10:15, 26 August 2020
    SAULM survey and other updates 15:30, 5 August 2020
    COVID-19 cases and other updates 15:26, 5 August 2020
    New UCT Council and other updates 15:12, 15 July 2020
    Upcoming UCT virtual events 09:30, 15 July 2020
    Pre-paid data for UCT students 14:25, 22 April 2020
    Update for postgraduate students 12:55, 20 April 2020
    UCT Human Resources and COVID-19 16:05, 19 March 2020
    UCT confirms second COVID-19 case 09:15, 19 March 2020
    Update on UCT COVID-19 response 13:50, 11 March 2020
    Update on COVID-19 17:37, 6 March 2020


    Video messages from the Department of Medicine

    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.

    Useful information from UCT

    External resources

    News and opinions

    Statements and media releases

    Media releases

    Read more  

    Statements from Government


    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.