UNIZULU’s RESPONSE TO THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

16 March 2020

The University’s response is guided by the nature of the virus, the national response, and the institutional context.

It is common cause that Corona virus epidemic has escalated to the point where it is declared a pandemic by both the Centre of Disease Control and World Health Organization. The implications of this are dire. A number of countries, organizations, institutions have taken precautionary measures to prevent the spiralling spread of the pandemic.

As with all such pandemics, it takes time before societal institutions can catch up and provide a requisite response. In concert with these efforts, the President has declared that the pandemic constitutes a national disaster which requires all hands on deck. Measures taken include the following:

  • Gatherings of more than 100 people are prohibited.
  • Mass celebrations of upcoming national days such as Human Rights Day and other large government events will be cancelled.

With regard to personal responsibility, individuals are asked to:

  • Wash their hands frequently with soap and water or hand sanitisers for at least 20 seconds;
    • Cover their nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or flexed elbow;
    • Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms. 

 

Informed by the above, University Management has decided as follows:

  1. The commencement of the recess which was supposed to have started on Monday, 23rd March 2020 has been moved forward to Tuesday, 17th March 2020;
  2. Students will be advised of the date of re-opening in due course;
  3. All face to face activities, classes as well as mass academic gatherings are suspended forthwith;
  4. Alternate online teaching and learning methods will be utilised during this period;
  5. All university related international and non-essential domestic air travel is suspended with immediate effect;
  6. All staff members and students that visited high risk countries must report their travel to the institutional authorities before their return, submit themselves to tests on their return and self-isolate for at least 14 days;
  7. Students occupying residences in Richards Bay should vacate their rooms as soon as they can or self- isolate in their rooms in order to curb the spread of the virus;
  8. Anyone who experiences flu-like symptoms must visit the designated hospital in this area – Ngwelezane Hospital for testing and support;
  9. Graduation ceremonies are provisionally suspended until further notice;
  10. Staff are encouraged to use technology to communicate rather than attending non-essential meetings. Approval to stay at home must be given by the Dean/ Executive responsible for your portfolio.
  11. If you notice any of the symptoms, stay at home, self-quarantine (avoid contact with others) and immediately seek medical care. Emergency number – National Department of Health –  0800029999

 

  1. Establish from your medical aid scheme guidelines regarding your benefits.
  2. Sick leave applications must be submitted for proven cases.
  3. Avoid contact with anyone with flu-like symptoms.

The national situation is changing rapidly as indicated by public reports issued by government and media.  We are all in this as a nation and part of the global community.

Keep yourself aware of latest developments – Contact Numbers 0600123456. Also visit the WHO and NICD South Africa websites.

University Management, working with Council and the Department of Higher Education will announce additional measures which are aimed at enhancing our response to the epidemic on campus.

 

Issued on behalf of University of Zululand Management