People to sign the petition and save the lives of many

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People to sign the petition and save the lives of many

This petition made change with 234 supporters!
University of Zimbabwe Students Association started this petition to University of Zimbabwe students, staff and administration.
  • This petition serves to air out our main concern as the students of the University of Zimbabwe arising from our experience from the December 2020 face-to-face interactions vis-à-vis the new surgency of the Covid-19 pandemic.  During that period the WHO and MoHCC regulations were observed to a minimal and very insignificant extent and we might have been spared in the first phase but this second one has proven to be more aggressive and deadly.(as shown by the graphs below)  For institutions such as ours to open and operate there following WHO and MoHCC regulations should be observed (as shown in Exhibit 1).

 

AREAS OF CONCERN REGARDING THE SPREAD OF COVID-19 VIRUS

1. Halls of Residence.

Firstly, when a group of students would check out of the halls of residence paving way for the next group, there was no disinfection process that was carried; and as we all know and according to the regulations this is a key and fundamental process.  Secondly, upon checking in there was no screening procedure conducted except just temperature checks period.  It is also our understanding that during the Christmas and New Year festivities students travelled along together with families across the country thus also increasing the chances of infection spread.  If we are to return to the campus we have students from all across the country and without screening processes in place, UZ is going to be the key distribution and hotspot centre for the spread for the virus and when student return to their various homesteads, will in turn spread the virus to their families (also noting that some of the student stay with the elderly who have underlying conditions already). 

2. DACS Dining Halls

The places were crowded with very long queues.  Crowding at tables when student were eating because of their small carrying capacity versus student population, was a very common situation.  One could find 6 to 10 students sitting at one table during a meal(and because it’s a meal, masks would be off for that matter); with social distance not observed.  But surely what could the students do? They just all needed to be in time for their lectures.  Frequently, the DACS dining halls would run out of water with detergents for students to sanitize upon entry and as such they would end up entering the halls without sanitizing their hands.

 

3. Lecture Rooms/ Lecture Theatres

Talk of Lecture rooms – these were the most chaotic, a total disaster and Covid-19 incubation centres.  Lecture theatres were just generally small (and I suppose haven’t changed in size as yet nor grown bigger) and therefore would force students into situations where they would be sitting thigh to thigh for over about one and a half hours for one lecture and for about 3 to 5 lectures a day.  Now that surely is the most direct application for the spread of the virus.

 

4. ZUPCO Bus Queues at UZ Rank and Rezende Rank

These are the main pick-up and drop-off points for UZ students going to and from town(other different locations around Harare).  Most of the students are the ones who will not be in residence and will be coming from different suburbs in the city and must use public transport to get to college.  Public transport is one way of quickly spreading the virus.  And the question becomes after their arrival on campus, are they going through a screening process? If not, what guarantee is there that they are not carriers of the virus?

 

The above is the reality of the situation at the University of Zimbabwe campus based on our experiences as students in the December face-to-face interactions.  The question that remains is, will covid-19 spare us this time if we are on campus with all the above conditions?  Will our institution not be responsible for spreading the deadly pandemic across the nation?  At what cost will the face-to-face benefit anyone? At the cost of lives? Are physical lectures and exams more important that the lives of many Zimbabweans?

 

Based on the above represented facts of the reality at our institution, the statistics and the new updates on the surgency of COVID-19 cases in Zimbabwe, with Harare and Bulawayo as the hotspots; we are kindly making an appeal in which one of the following approaches is initiated in practise and not on paper in regards to the issue of lectures and exams:

1. That either exams and face-to-face interactions are postponed to a date Covid-19 pandemic has come to a minimal or ceased.

2. A practical alternative in which lectures proceed online and exams ae conducted online as well is very much appreciated and would save the lives of many Zimbabweans.

Other institutions in the country have taken measures to curb the spread of the virus either by postponement of lectures and exams or facilitation of both online as shown by Exhibit 2.

 

It is our plea that you put into consideration all the above factors and do what is best for the students at the University of Zimbabwe, the nation of Zimbabwe and humanity.  Its better late than never!  We look towards your favourable and reasonable consideration.

Thank you and kind regards

The University of Zimbabwe Students' Association

 

 

 

 

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