Tuks hard at work managing Covid-19 outbreak - spokesperson
Pretoria - The University of Pretoria is not expecting the number of Covid-19 cases among its student community to affect the academic programme because most work is conducted online.
Spokesperson Rikus Delport said yesterday that the university was hard at work with measures to eliminate the outbreak, which started after a March 19 student outing. The number of positive cases has since climbed to 115 from the original 55.
Delport said it was suspected that the coronavirus was contracted off campus at one or more of the pubs and restaurants regularly frequented by students in the Hatfield area.
"We have taken immediate action to manage the situation and facilitate full sanitisation of all communal areas as well as the areas specifically occupied by the affected students.
"Fortunately, most students have not shown any serious symptoms and are recovering well. On a daily basis, students are being released from the University of Pretoria’s quarantine facilities after the 10-day quarantine period is complete,“ Delport explained.
The university has been reminding students of the importance of adhering to all of the Covid-19 protocols and ensuring that they protect themselves even outside the confines of the university's walls.
Delport called on all students to go beyond adhering to safety protocols and regulations and also to stay away from crowded and poorly ventilated areas.
At the moment, there is continuous decontamination of communal areas in residences where Covid-19-positive students have been identified, and of the spaces which such students currently occupy.
An investigating task team was established with collaboration from the Department of Health in the Tshwane district and Higher Health.
Delport said refresher training was provided to building co-ordinators and cleaning staff by the government, and discussions were under way on how best to address risky student behaviour beyond the confines of the residences and off campus.
Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Dr Blade Nzimande also called on students and staff in higher learning institutions to be extra-cautious so as to avoid another outbreak at an institution of learning.