WITS medical students return to contact classes with stringent Covid-19 regulations

Medical students raising their hands during class (PHOTO: SDI Productions/Getty Images)
Medical students raising their hands during class (PHOTO: SDI Productions/Getty Images)
SDI Productions

The University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg has implemented a limited opening of the Wits Junction Residence Complex, Faculty of Health Sciences building, as well as the clinical training platform in various hospitals to accommodate the return of final year medical students today.

WITS spokesperson, Buhle Zuma, tells DRUM that the university is prepared for the return of, “314 medical students in their final year of the MBBCh and GEMP programmes.” To ensure the safety of both students and staff she outlines stringent precautions that have been put in place for all parties to adhere to.

“Residences and related facilities, offices and teaching venues have been decontaminated, including surfaces, equipment and ventilation systems. This has been confirmed by Wits’ Occupational Health and Safety Director and his team” she points out as per the statement released by the university last week.

Additionally so, sanitisers have been placed at all entry points of the university as well as extra precautions in separating students from bus drivers have been implemented in transport services that the institution offers.

Staff and students alike have to complete a confidential screening questionnaire daily via an app in order to gain entry onto campus premises and additional temperature screenings may be implemented at the gate as per university discretion.

Staff and students will be issued with the necessary protective gear to be worn on campus and additional medical protective clothing will be provided for medical students who will be going into hospitals. Buhle points out that the failure of students or staff to comply with stipulated regulations may result in them being escorted off the institution premises by campus security.

On whether WITS will be implementing this phased in approach to contact classes for other degree programmes, Buhle couldn’t provide additional intel.