News24 Wire
Wire Service
2 minute read
21 Mar 2020
7:13 pm

Third UCT staff member tests positive for coronavirus

News24 Wire

The university says the three colleagues involved are in quarantine.

This illustration, created at the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion when viewed electron microscopically. Picture: Alissa Eckert and Dan Higgins

The University of Cape Town has confirmed its third case of the coronavirus.

The university’s vice-chancellor, Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, said in a statement: “I am writing to inform you that we have confirmed a third positive case of Covid-19 at the University of Cape Town (UCT).

“Our first case was confirmed on Sunday, 15 March 2020 and the second case on Thursday, 19 March 2020.”

The first case reported was a UCT staff member, while the second was a UCT-based visiting researcher associated with a department at the university.

The third Covid-19 case at the university was confirmed on Saturday, and who worked in the same department as the second case.

Phakeng has emphasised that the university continues to monitor each of the reported cases and wishes them a speedy recovery.

“In all three instances, the provincial Department of Health confirmed the cases through the prescribed protocol. The three colleagues involved are in quarantine.

“The Department of Health has also immediately begun contact tracing in the respective cases and those identified as close contacts have been informed and asked to quarantine themselves for two weeks,” Phakeng added.

The vice-chancellor has assured students and staff that the university remains committed to maintaining confidentiality about the medical condition of those affected.

“This includes the information in relation to testing for whatever infectious or non-infectious diseases a person may have and is an important ethical imperative. Breaking that confidentiality is not acceptable, and for healthcare professionals (including health scientists) it is against all moral codes,” Phakeng said.

“Naming people in emails or on social media platforms or releasing information about them that could identify them, must be avoided,” the vice-chancellor said.

Furthermore, Phakeng has advised UCT students and staff to check the coronavirus feature page on the university’s news website for information on how the university is dealing with the pandemic.

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