WSU suspends lectures and exams to curb the spread of Covid-19

All physical lectures, examination and assessments have been suspended by Walter Sisulu University, WSU. Walter Sisulu University, WSU suspend all classes, exam and assessment in its East London campus for two week due to pandemic. All students will be isolated to their residence during this period.

The Vice-Chancellor stated in a communiqué to students and staff of the school that the pause to academic activities is to avoid the spread of covid-19 in the institution and the Buffalo City Community. He said the decision was taken after 26 students from four residences in the Buffalo City campus and one staff tested positive to the virus.

“Provincial and university capacity is limited, however, management has had to reconsider its current-risk management process and improve our precautionary measures. Our priority is to protect staff and students; and also the Buffalo City residents with whom our students come into contact with when doing their shopping,” said Midgley.

The decision was made by the university after WSU VC, Midgley and Fort Hare University Vice-chancellor, Professor Sakhela Buhlungu issue a joint statement previous week about the rise on the number of cases among students at their East London campuses in recent weeks.

As at the time of the statement, WSu claims not to know the number of cases in their institution but so many students has been admitted already. While Fort Hare claimed 26 cases among students in addition to the 30 recorded by the institution previous week. 125 of Fort Hare University students was announced by Sunday Times to have tested positive for the virus.

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The two VC’s said that their concern is as a result of the fact that students from their respective university stay in and around Quigney in East London and they will definitely have contact during socialization.

Last week Sunday, Fort Hare said students of the school teste positive after attending parties in Quigney and been to the tavern, in the same suburb, where all of the Covid-19 safety regulations has been taken for granted. In the speech, it was confirmed that WSU students also attend the party with Fort Hare students in Quigney.

The Vice-chancellor of WSU has announced that From Monday, the institution will halt all academic activities till November 8. There will be no academic and administrative activities between staff and students at the Buffalo City campus. From Tuesday, students will isolated in their residences until November 8. The students are given the opportunity to stock up foodstuffs today if they need any additional food needed during isolation, they will have to liaise with the wardens to be delivered to them.

“I urge everyone to please assist us to implement the proposed safety measures. For us to protect each other, we need a concerted disciplined effort to contain this virus. We need to work together as a community and please let us not be reckless with other people’s lives,” said Midgley.

WSU made this decision after Universities South Africa (Usaf) — the association of the 26 vice-chancellors — said on Thursday that it had “noted with grave concern, reports of reckless student behaviour on campuses” during the lockdown levels one and two.

They claim many students hosted a house party in their residence and attend night party which are against the covid-19 rules and regulations.

“Noting that Covid-19 remains alive and active in this country, as evidenced by over 1 000 new cases being reported daily, nationally, the vice-chancellors of all 26 public universities have cautioned students at their institutions to keep this in mind in their day-to-day behaviour on campuses and residences,” said Usaf.

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