Being concerned with the lack of adherence to the COVID-19 protocols; Lizwi Masondo, the MUT COVID-19 Compliance Officer, convened a meeting with strategic colleagues at the University to find solutions to the problem. Such colleagues were from the Student Affairs department, Protection Services, the Marketing and Communications department, and the Clinic. Lizwi said: “The problem is so big, it is scary. It looks like some of us think that moving the country to Lockdown Level 1 has meant that the Coronavirus is no longer with us. On a number of occasions, I have noticed both staff and students not wearing their masks; or they wear them, as soon as they have gone beyond the gate, they take them off, or push them down and expose the nose and mouth. Obviously this is not how the mask is supposed to be worn. Some staff members refuse to be sanitised at the gate. They say they have their own sanitisers. That is risky. What if they forget to use their sanitisers as they leave the car? Everybody becomes exposed,” said Lizwi.
During the meeting the team took a number of resolutions which are aimed at ensuring that everyone complies with COVID-19 protocols so that the University and the public are safe from the pandemic and the possibility of a second wave.
Lizwi said one of the resolutions taken at the meeting was for the Marketing and Communications department to run a campaign to remind staff and students to adhere to the applicable protocols. “The Department of Marketing and Communications has already started preparations for the campaign to remind staff and students about adhering to COVID-19 protocols and the consequences of failure to do so,” said Lizwi. Lizwi also mentioned that the University will take measures against non-compliers.
The other resolution is for MUT management to conduct a walk-about across the University, impressing upon those not complying that drastic steps would be taken against them. “Our hands are tied in many ways. We are no longer able to distribute flyers to students and staff as scientists have said the virus can survive on the paper surface for some hours. We will use word-of-mouth, and the loud hailer to get our message across,” said Lizwi.
Lizwi also appealed to staff and students to look after the sanitisers, and report if sanitisers are no longer available at the sanitising stations.