Covid-19: UKZN confirms positive tests of student and staff member

Doctors collecting samples to test for Covid-19.
Doctors collecting samples to test for Covid-19.
Rehman Asad/NurPhoto via Getty Images
  • The University of KwaZulu-Natal has reported the infections of a student and a staff member.
  • Offices where the staff member is based are being disinfected.
  • Those who came into contact with the student and staff member have been asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

A student and a staff member at the University of KwaZulu-Natal have tested positive for Covid-19, the institution said on Monday.

"The University of KwaZulu-Natal can confirm that a student at the medical school campus has tested positive for Covid-19. The student has been taken for medical attention. The student, once assessed, will be referred to an appropriate isolation facility," university spokesperson Normah Zondo said.

She said a staff member in the Department of Student Residence Affairs (DSRA) also tested positive.

"The staff member was based in the annex building at the Howard College Campus. DSRA offices have been closed and disinfection is currently under way. We are in the process of tracing possible contacts."

Zondo said that, as a precautionary measure, all co-workers and fellow students, who were in direct contact with the staff member and student, were asked to self-isolate for the next 14 days.

"Health and safety is our number one priority. UKZN is following health and safety protocols from national health authorities and has implemented guidelines in relation to social interactions, social distancing, hygiene, travel and protocols on entering our campuses."

ALSO READ | Special Covid-19 testing equipment gifted to UKZN reduces turnaround time by 18 hours

She said "every effort" was made at all campuses to mitigate the impact of the spread of Covid-19.

"UKZN task teams have worked tirelessly to ensure that we are compliant with all our government regulations. We urge all our students and staff to observe and comply with all Covid-19 safety regulations to stay safe."

Zondo last week announced UKZN would be reopening its doors over the coming weeks, but says it will do so cautiously because of the steady rise in Covid-19 infections countrywide.

News24 had reported her as saying logistics and planning for the return of the students and staff would be complex, but had to be undertaken carefully.

The university's announcement came after Higher Education, Science and Technology Minister Blade Nzimande announced the return of a maximum of one-third of the student population.

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