The South African Union of Students (SAUS) has called on all universities and other institutions such as TVET Colleges to immediately close to avoid putting students at risk of contracting.
Some institutions, including Wits University, the University of Johannesburg, KwaZulu-Natal and
all classes and tests.
This comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa declared the
on Sunday night.
62 confirmed cases have now been reported in the country.
As the number of continues to rise across the country, the South African Union of Students (SAUS) has made a clarion call to all universities and institutions of higher learning to shut their doors, until further notice.
SAUS says this is the only way to ensure that students aren’t at risk of contracting the virus. Spokesperson Thabo Shingange says they are concerned as a union.
“As a union, we are concerned about the rapid increase and the spread of the coronavirus across the country and across the globe. So, as the union, our position is simple; close down the universities and they must utilise other means of engagement, be it online submissions of assignments and so on, but the academic programme must go on, but it cannot continue when it puts students health at risk. So, they must take the matter seriously. Universities are closed until there is a serious plan to deal with the coronavirus on our campuses,” says Shingange.
is advising students to self-quarantine to avoid contracting the virus. A medical student at the University has tested positive for the virus.
However, the National Department of Health is yet to conduct its own testing. Wits Spokesperson Shirona Patel says all students have been requested to stay at home.
“All students are requested to remain at home or to confine themselves at their rooms and residences. Students are encouraged to follow the social distance guidelines and to limit interaction where this is possible. Special arrangements are being made for students who usually eat in dining halls. Wits University will keep the public informed as to plans from Tuesday onwards after consultation with the department of health and the department of higher education and training. The university asks all students and staff to exercise caution and not to panic,” says Shirona.
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