Pubs, restaurants blamed for surge in student COVID cases

South Africa’s University of Pretoria has recorded 115 positive cases of COVID-19 in the past three weeks with pubs and restaurants in the vicinity of the university in the Hatfield area being viewed as prime suspects for the pockets of infections surging at the institution, writes Siyanda Ndlovu for The Citizen.

University spokesperson Rikus Delport said the university was complying with the COVID-19 health protocols and following the regulations. “It is suspected that the virus was contracted off campus at one or more of the pubs and restaurants regularly frequented by students in the Hatfield area,” said Delport. Contact tracing is under way and all the relevant authorities notified, he said. The university is working closely with them to implement all necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.

The rise of infections was concerning, said Higher Health, an agency mandated by the Department of Higher Education to safeguard student health and well-being in higher learning institutions. “The outbreaks across some of our institutions are extremely worrying and remind us of the brutal second wave that has just passed South Africa,” said Ramneek Ahluwalia, CEO of Higher Health.
Full report on The Citizen site

Meanwhile, Shonisani Tshikalange writes for Sowetan Live that Stellenbosch University confirmed that except for an isolated outbreak in a section of the Huis Visser residence where nine people tested positive – of which eight were active cases – there was no indication of “super-spreaders” or “cluster” outbreaks at the moment. The University of the Witwatersrand said it has not recorded an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in staff or students since the start of the academic year.
Full report on the Sowetan Live site