The vice chancellor of makerere university, Prof. Barnabus Nawengwe and dean of students, Cyriaco Kabagambe reveal that the university is not in position to carry out covid19 testing to over 4000 finalists returning to the university starting on the 5th of October but urges all students to carry mobile sanitizers with them .
In the ongoing phased re-opening of the country, government Okayed the re-opening of schools starting with candidates and finalists for tertiary institutions as a way of controlling the numbers to have enough space to observe the covid19 standard operating procedures to avoid the likely spread of the disease.
Students who were sent home on 20th March this year have been in the communities where currently the pandemic is strongly planting its roots and are now set to return to the ivory tower of education in the country and region with no chances by the administration to carry out mandatory testing to ascertain the health of these students. This will put lives and health of students at risk since no one will be knowing their health status.
The dean of students, Cyriaco Kabagambe confirms that they will be following the national guidance for covid19 SOPs with assumption that the students are okay, but they become unwell, then they will follow certain procedures and confirms that they are re-opening the university on that premise, “that our students who are coming are coming from our communities and are okay.”
However, once they reach campus, there will be no general checking for covid19 since the university has no capacity to check all the students that are coming. But in case they reach at the university and present with the disease, the university has its own standard operating procedures which were set and generated by the select committee set by the vice chancellor among them is, isolation and refer the positive student to the university hospital for further testing and treatment.
For the safety of the staff and students, the university has also set tough health guidelines for students residing at campus not to move to risky places like discos, bars and joints, not to entertain unwanted or un authorized visitors to their halls of residence or even lecture rooms.
Meanwhile, the deputy vice-chancellor in charge of academics Professor Kakumba Umar emphasizes the importance to observe maximum covid19 standard operating procedures by students and staff since a number of colleges namely, the college of health sciences, humanities, social sciences are currently involved in covid19 related research geared towards finding a vaccine to treat the pandemic.
The reopening slated for 5th October 2020 will have 518 students from the colleges of health sciences, engineering, veterinary, medicine return and will be followed by more than 600 resident students from other colleges who don’t do practical lessons. The total capacity of the university is beyond 40000 and now they are taking back just a quarter of the students.