Covid-19: Blade Nzimande concerned as infections on the rise at tertiary institutions | News24

Higher Education, Science and Technology Minister Blade Nzimande. Photo: GCIS

  • Blade Nzimande notes with concern studies of Covid-19 infections at tertiary establishments.
  • At the University of Pretoria, 115 college students have examined optimistic since 18 March.
  • The minister says different universities and TVET schools have additionally reported infections. 

Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology Blade Nzimande appealed to college students and employees at tertiary establishments to stay vigilant after pockets of Covid-19 infections have been reported throughout the sector.

According to an announcement by the Department of Higher Education on Saturday, Nzimande attended a briefing with regard to the present outbreaks at numerous universities and TVET schools.

Nzimande stated the studies of recent circumstances at tertiary establishments was extraordinarily worrying.

“While Covid-19 has largely been detrimental for the older population groups, the virus is mutating and new variants are showing a higher affinity towards young people, who can serve as carriers and fasten the spread of infection. Unfortunately, that would fire up the third wave,” Nzimande stated.

When Nzimande obtained the report, the worst-affected establishment was the University of Pretoria, the place 55 college students had examined optimistic as of 31 March.

On Saturday, the college confirmed the quantity has elevated to 115 college students to have examined optimistic since 18 March.

“We are aggressively working on contact tracing with the help of the Department of Health and have tested and screened a large number of students and staff over the last few days. Higher Health is still screening and testing this week, for which results are still awaited. There is a probability that the number of positive cases may rise,” Nzimande added.

In an announcement, the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) additionally voiced its concern concerning the “growing number of Covid-19 cases in institutions of higher learning across the country”.

Nehawu appeared in charge the division and stated it had pleaded with the sector to make sure that all establishments have been able to welcome staff and college students again, together with placing all crucial measures in place to avert infections.

“This was after the department failed to consult labour as an important stakeholder in the sector. It seems our calls fell on deaf ears as we are now faced with a growing number of Covid-19 cases,” Nehawu stated.

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