Against the backdrop of the expanding Coronavirus (Covid 19) that has sent shockwaves across the world, the South African government has moved rather swiftly in minimizing the transmission of the virus.
The University of Pretoria has postponed all contact classes, conferences and graduation. The institution has also resechuled the academic calendar. This means that the March recess (break), initially planed to start on 21 March will kick in from today, the 17th until mid April 2020.
In an announcement communicated to all students, the Univeristy’s Vice Chancellor and Principal, Tawana Kupe provided that: ” The continued well-being of members of our community and our partner institutions is vital. In this trying time in which the nation unites to minimise the effects of this pandemic, we must all exercise care, empathy and humanity. ”
The University of the Witswatersrand along with UP have done away with the Biometric systems while the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal has launched a health war room to fight the virus.
In other news, on Sunday, the 15th of March 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa declared the pandemic as a state of disaster in terms of the Disaster Management Act.
The President has also introduced measures in an attempt to reduce and prevent the spread of Covid 19.
These measures include : 1. Travel ban on high risk countries from the 18 March 2020. 2. Gathering of more than 100 people prohibited 3. Large events and celebrations prohibited 4. Schools to be closed from Wednesday , 18 March 2020. 5.Establishment of a National Command Council chaired by President Ramaphosa to meet three times a week