Coronavirus

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

In early January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) flagged the discovery of a virus, known as the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). It has been identified to be zoonotic, meaning it can spread from animals to humans. The virus is very contagious and spreads from one infected person to another, through coughing and sneezing, close personal contact, etc. The infected person presents cold-like symptoms and respiratory tract illnesses. Read more


In the event of possible infection  (click to enlarge)

 

Contact us via nwu-covid19@nwu.ac.za for any Covid-19 (Coronavirus) queries or find contact details for NWU Health Care Centres here.

 

See guidelines and support for lecturers in the transition to online learning as well as online training opportunities for lecturers and how to support students to continue teaching and learning online. Read more

 

Protocols and directives

11 June 2020: COVID-19 Occupational Health and Safety 

5 June 2020: Generic guidelines: Student Life and Residence & Catering Environment

5 June 2020

As part of the interim measures and directives implemented by the University Management Committee on the 16th March 2020 (available on the NWU website) in reaction to COVID-19, the following additional guidelines serve to provide further guidance and clarity with specific reference to the Student Life and Residence & Catering environment.

Read more

2 June 2020: NWU Covid-19 OHS specifications for service providers/year contractors

26 May 2020: Library and Information Services during COVID-19

26 May 2020

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we hereby communicate the following procedures to students and staff relating to the gradual responsible reopening of the NWU Library and Information Service. Moves towards the reopening of libraries globally are increasingly on the agenda as countries look to lift broader restrictions. Read the protocols on Library and Information Services during COVID-19 here.

18 May 2020: NWU Facilities Cleaning Protocol

18 May 2020

This guidance provides instructions on the cleaning and disinfection of lecture halls, ablution facilities, cafeterias and kiosks and other common areas where students and staff frequent on a regular basis within the NWU, in order to mitigate the threat posed by the COVID-19 disease. Get the Facilities Cleaning Protocol.

29 April 2020: Directive on the use of Computer Laboratories

Effective 29 April 2020 until further notice

As a result of a developing pandemic of COVID-19 disease, it is important to communicate the following procedures to students and staff in relation to the use of computer laboratories. Read more

8 April 2020: Physical distancing protocol

8 April 2020

Physical distancing (also referred to social distancing) means measures taken to restrict the possible spread of infectious diseases and includes increasing physical distance between individuals; limiting travel; avoiding public transportation, public spaces, and social, religious and other gatherings; working from home, and minimising close contact between individuals. As a result of a developing pandemic of COVID-19 disease, it is important to communicate the following procedures to students and staff in relation to social distancing.

8 April 2020: Staff and students on quarantine and isolation for suspected or confirmed COVID-19 disease

8 April 2020

As a result of a developing pandemic of COVID-19 disease it is important to communicate the following procedures to student and staff in relation to possible infection, reporting, isolation, quarantine and containment on campus. Read the directive to staff and students on quarantine and isolation for suspected or confirmed COVID-19 disease

25 March 2020: Protection Services

25 March 2020

A national state of disaster was published in Government Gazette No. 43096 on Sunday, 15 March 2020, in terms of Section 27 (2) of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act No.57 of 2002) due to the developing pandemic of Covid-19 disease. The procedures mentioned below were developed to indicate the protocol to be observed by protection officers to avoid spreading the disease. Read more

16 March 2020: Directive on Formal and Informal Sports Events, Gatherings, and Meetings

Effective 16 March 2020 until further notice

As a result of a developing pandemic of COVID-19 disease (caused by the new coronavirus SARS-CoV2), it has become necessary to restrict unnecessary gatherings, meetings, and sports events.

Read more

16 March 2020: Directive on Official and Private Travel by Staff and Students and Receiving International Visitors

Effective 16 March 2020 until further notice

As a result of a developing pandemic of COVID-19 disease (caused by the new coronavirus SARS-CoV2), it has become necessary to monitor and restrict international and local travel by students and staff and to regulate visits by international visitors to the NWU.

Read more

 

Information for distance learning students

Learning Support Centres for NWU ODL students will be closed from 17 March 2020 until further notice.  Lectures will be pre-recorded so that students do not miss out on the necessary support.  The protocols to download these lectures will be sent via text messags to affected students. Please visit http://distance.nwu.ac.za/coronavirus for more information.

 

COVID-19 information and updates

From NWU News

National news

Phased-in reopening of Higher Education

10 June 2020

Prof Dan Kgwadi discusses phased-in reopening of the NWU in this eNCA clip.

 

Latest address by Minister Blade Nzimande

6 June 2020

Read the address by Minister Blade Nzimande on progress in implementation of Covid-19 measures by the Post School Education and Training Sector

 

Latest address by the president

24 May 2020

Read the latest address by President Cyril Ramaphosa on South Africa's response to the Coronavirus pandemic.
 

Post-school education sector response to COVID-19

23 May 2020

Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation's statement on the implementation of measures by the post-school education sector in response to COVID-19 epidemic. Read more 

 

Q&A on measures to phase out the lockdown and phase in strategic functions in the PSET sector

7 May 2020

Read questions and answers about the phasing in of strategic functions in the PSET sector.

 

Statements by Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

30 April 2020

Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation statement on the measures to phase out the lockdown and phasing in of PSET strategic functions. Read more

 

Statement by President Cyril Ramaphosa on South Africa's response to the Coronavirus pandemic, including a gradual and phased recovery of economic activity.

23 April 2020

"...We have accordingly decided that beyond Thursday 30 April, we should begin a gradual and phased recovery of economic activity. We will implement a risk-adjusted strategy through which we take a deliberate and cautious approach to the easing of current lockdown restrictions." Read more

 

Plans for Academic Year 2020 and response to COVID-19 pandemic

21 April 2020

Read here about plans to save the academic year 2020 for public universities, information about students remaining in university residences, research and other work of universities contributing to the prevention and management of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Statement by President Cyril Ramaphosa on measures to combat the COVID-19 epidemic and the extension of the lockdown

9 April 2020

"After careful consideration of the available evidence, the National Coronavirus Command Council has decided to extend the nation-wide lockdown by a further two weeks beyond the initial 21 days." Read more

 

Minister Zweli Mkhize confirms 2nd death and total of 1280 cases of Coronavirus COVID-19

29 March 2020

As of today, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is 1280. This is an increase of 93 from the previously reported cases. It is with sadness that we also announce the second death of a patient who had tested positive for #COVID19. #CoronavirusInSA Read more 

 

Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation update statement following President Cyril Ramaphosa addressing the Nation on the Government response to Covid 19

28 March 2020

Read more

 

Media release from the Minister of Health

27 March 2020

Today, South Africa has 1170 confirmed cases. This is an increase of 243 new cases from yesterday’s announcement. Read more

 

Statement by president Cyril Ramaphosa

23 March 2020

Statement by president Cyril Ramaphosa on escalation of measures to combat COVID-19 epidemic

 

Latest confirmed cases of COVID-19

23 March 2020

"Fellow South Africans, as of today, South Africa now has 402 confirmed cases of COVID-19. This means there has been an increase of 128 from yesterday’s announcement." Read more

 

Government press releases and notices

Stay informed! Get all the latest press releases and notices as issued by the Department of Health here: https://sacoronavirus.co.za/category/press-releases-and-notices/

 

Statements by Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

16 March 2020

Click to read statements by Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology on measures to combat COVID-19 epidemic.

 

Statement by President Cyril Ramaphosa on measures to combat the COVID-19 epidemic

15 March 2020

"I am addressing you this evening on a matter of great national importance. The world is facing a medical emergency far graver than what we have experienced in over a century. The World Health Organisation has declared the coronavirus outbreak as a
global pandemic...We have decided to take urgent and drastic measures to manage the disease, protect the people of our country and reduce the impact of the virus on our society and on our economy. We have now declared a national state of disaster in terms of the Disaster Management Act...Following an extensive analysis of the progression of the disease worldwide and in South Africa, Cabinet has decided on the following measures..." Read more

 

Dr Zweli Mkhize confirms latest COVID-19 cases in South-Africa

15 March 2020

"As of today, 15 March 2020, the total number of confirmed cases is 51. This means that our numbers have increased by 13 since yesterday’s announcement. The breakdown per province is as follows..." Read more

 

Latest confirmed cases of COVID-19 in South Africa

11 March 2020

The Minister of Health wishes to inform the public that 6 new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed. This takes the total number of coronavirus positive patients in South Africa to 13. Read more

 

Four more cases of Covid-19 identified in South Africa - News24 (Extract from the media briefing by Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize

9 March 2020

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in South Africa has increased to seven, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize confirmed on Monday. Mkhize announced that four more people, who were part of the group of 10 who went on a ski trip to Italy, have tested positive for Covid-19. Included is a 38-year-old woman in KwaZulu Natal, her partner, a 45-year-old man, and a 38-year-old man.

The four have identified 65 people they have been in contact with who would be tested and monitored, according to Mkhize. Read more

 

Third confirmed case of COVID-19 in SA

8 March 2020

"Fellow South Africans, an announcement was made yesterday confirming the second case of COVID-19 in South Africa. In that statement, we indicated that the second patient is a direct contact of the first. We further indicated that they were a group of 10 people who had travelled to Italy.

We confirm that we traced all 10 of these individuals. Nine of them had returned to South Africa. The tenth did not and is therefore not in our country. This morning we have received results of the direct contact of the first patient, his wife. She had also travelled with him to Italy as part of the group of ten. I now wish to advise the public that she has tested positive for COVID-19 and is therefore the third confirmed case in South Africa..." Read more

 

Confirmation of second case of COVID-19 in SA

7 March 2020

The Minister of Health wishes to advise all South Africans that a second case of COVID-19 has now been confirmed in South Africa. Read more

 

The first case of COVID-19 Coronavirus reported in SA

5 March 2020

This morning, Thursday March 5, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases confirmed that a suspected case of COVID-19 has tested positive. Read more

 

WHO Director General - Ways to stay healthy

Click to see a video by the WHO Director General on ways to stay healthy:

 

 

Signs and Symptoms of Coronavirus

  • Fever, sore throat
  • Coughing and sneezing
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Runny nose & headaches
  • General feeling of malaise
  • Symptoms may go away on their own but experts advise seeking care early

Read more

Who is most at risk?

  • Those with a weak immune system
  • COVID-19 infection is most dangerous to the elderly, and to people living with chronic diseases. Younger patients seem to have very low relative morbidity and mortality rates, though can carry and transmit the disease almost asymptomatically.
  • Any person with a documented travel history to China or any affected country within 21 days (as was revised after the initial release of the below document) before symptom onset 
  • Close physical contact with a confirmed patient with the Coronavirus
  • Healthcare worker/s who have been exposed to patients with severe acute respiratory infections
  • Direct contact with animal source or humans, in countries where the coronavirus is known

Read more

How it spreads

Person-to-person spread
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Read more

How to keep safe

There is currently no vaccine available to protect one against the Coronavirus infection. Transmission can bereduced when adhering to the below precautions:

Read more

 

Information for identifying and assessing possible Coronavirus contacts

These guidelines are for the evaluation of employees who may be ill or who may have been exposed to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

The current guideline for NWU employees or students is 21 days off-campus if the following applies to you:

  • If you have travelled overseas/abroad in the past 2 weeks.
  • If there was any close contact with a person who has the COVID-19 disease.
  • If you currently have a fever of 38 degrees or higher and respiratory illness with symptoms of shortness of breath or coughing.

 

 When at home for 21 days:
 
  • Check your temperature twice daily.
  • Monitor for the following signs and symptoms which can vary from mild to severe:
    • Fever
    • Shortness of breath
    • Sore throat
    • Body pains
    • Diarrhoea
  • Limit socialising until you are sure that there are no signs or symptoms of the disease.
  • If any symptoms should become apparent, consult your medical doctor immediately and inform the occupational health practitioners at the Healthcare Center.
 

Standard precautions to prevent contracting the disease:

  • Limit travelling, especially to the affected areas.
  • Apply cough etiquette by coughing into a tissue.
  • Wash your hands regularly.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Stay at home if you are ill.
  • Wear a mask when needed.

 

When the 21 days have passed, please make an appointment with the occupational health practitioners.

 

 


Sources of information: World Health Organization (WHO)Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Department of Health