Coronavirus update from the VC

Posted on March 24, 2020

Dear UP Community

I hope you are keeping some sense of calm as best you can in this very difficult, frightening and rapidly changing situation. It is not easy and cannot be easy. I share and feel the pain you are experiencing at this time. Let us try to stay as calm as we can as we navigate an unprecedented context.

In line with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement yesterday (23 March 2020), calling for a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), we have made a decision to close the campus with effect from Thursday 12:00, 26 March until 16 April 2020.

This follows my earlier announcement to suspend contact classes from Monday, 16 March 2020, until mid-April 2020. This is an attempt to avoid or minimise the possible spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 among our staff and students.

The 21-day lockdown necessitates that we examine carefully how we support specific activities in this period.  The UP Executive and I will be meeting later today to discuss how we manage the situation. We will consult with other relevant members from the UP community for input on how to manage relevant matters in this context.

At 9am today, Universities South Africa (USAF) a group of the VCs of 26 public universities are meeting to discuss sector-wide implications and actions.

Let’s continue to support each other during this difficult and exceptional time. In the best interests of public health and safety, I ask you to please take the government restrictions seriously and act responsibly at all times.

For the latest information, please visit or follow us on UP’s official social media platforms. You can also email your query to [email protected].

Look after yourself and your family and reach out to those who are in need of support.

Please stay safe.

Best wishes

Prof Tawana Kupe

Vice-Chancellor and Principal

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