Mak gets first Covid case, orders testing for all staff

Tuesday August 25 2020
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Makerere University Vice-Chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, says only essential staff, who were cleared by the University Council to work during the lockdown and those who reside inside the university, are the only people that will be allowed to access the premises. PHOTO | FILE

Makerere University has announced mandatory testing of all resident university staff and their families after one employee tested positive for coronavirus.
One university staff, Ms Amanda Ngabirano, the chairperson of the National Physical Planning Board, tested positive for Covid-19 and tweeted the results on Sunday.
The university yesterday directed the university security officers to bar all staff from accessing the campus except the essential staff.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, sent an email to all university staff immediately after receiving the news. In the email which Daily Monitor has seen, Prof Nawangwe says only essential staff, who were cleared by the University Council to work during the lockdown and those who reside inside the university, are the only people that will be allowed to access the premises.
“So far no member of our community has been reported with the disease, but one member of staff has posted on a Whatsapp group that she has tested positive and is in self-isolation. This is extremely serious. Let us all pray that her health does not deteriorate. As a community, we must renew our vigilance in the fight to keep Covid-19 at bay. We are therefore reinforcing measures to keep our community safe,” he said.
“Colleagues, we must take every precaution to ensure that Covid-19 does not take hold at Makerere University. It is much better to prevent the disease than to suffer with its consequences. Please stay at and work from home and do not visit university premises unless it is inevitable. Avoid visiting crowded places in town, but if you must do so, please wear your face mask properly,” he added.
When contacted by telephone yesterday, Prof Nawangwe told Daily Monitor that they will close all university gates except the Main Gate.

“The security officers are aware about the essential staff who are supposed to be at campus. Those who will come when they are not supposed to will be turned away,” Prof Nawangwe said.
He, however, said visitors, especially those who want to access their transcripts or certify them will be allowed to access the university only if they have masks and are ready to follow other special operating procedures.

The list of essential staff who were approved by the university council to work from office that Daily Monitor has seen include all staff in the office of the vice chancellor, all members of central management, all college principals, deputy principals, Dean of Schools and College Bursars.

Other essential staff include security officers, custodians of buildings, staff at the university hospital and faculties with ongoing research projects, some staff from the Directorate of Finance, Human Resource and Legal Affairs.
Prof Nawamgwe also said all resident university staff and their families will be subjected to testing at the university hospital any time.

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