The University of Cape Town (UCT) is playing a key role in tracking infected persons of the coronavirus in South Africa. Various efforts have also been put into generating reliable data on infection rates and modelling. A dashboard on daily infections has been created while researchers from the Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics is working on the epidemiological modelling of COVID-19 in Cape Town to assist in efforts aimed at combating the virus in the city. Again, owing to the critical role of accurate public information on the pandemic, the Global Surgery Division has developed an information dissemination platform targeted at communities without smartphones or internet access on their phones using Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) communication protocols.
As part of efforts to support information gathering on infections, the University of Lagos’ Centre for Information, Technology and Systems (CITS) has developed a website that provides live updates on COVID-19 cases by State in Nigeria.
Tracking and tracing infections remains crucial to efforts aimed at curbing the pandemic. At the University of Pretoria, a transdisciplinary team from the Faculty of Health Sciences and the Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics is engaged in a modelling study of the pandemic in South Africa. Also, a repository has been created in the Department of Data Science to provide real-time data on COVID-19 infections globally.
The university has been engaged in front-line work and support for front line workers in many ways. First, faculty of the university form part of the national COVID-19 task force working with the Ministry of Health to address the pandemic. They are involved in providing advice, supporting evidence generation and the provision as well as mounting of surveillance in health facilities and burial sites.
Scientists and researchers at the Wits University are involved in several activities related to the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, an interdisciplinary team of researchers made up of computer and data analysts, engineers and physicists, have developed an intuitive and interactive Dashboard to track and model the spread of the virus. Also, the University, in partnership with a private foundation (Gift of Givers) has opened a COVID-19 Testing Station on the Braamfontein Campus, which offers tests to referred potential patients for a small fee. The facility has a turnaround time of between 24-48 hours for results.
By Emmanuel Abbey, Emmanuel Adu-Danso and Ernest Aryeetey
The COVID-19 pandemic is having a devastating effect on education worldwide. Schools and universities have been shut down, like everything else. Universities around the world have responded positively, intensifying research to find solutions, assisting their governments in developing ways to contain the pandemic, and finding other channels to deliver on their mandate.
The African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) has formally opened its offices in Accra. The formal opening of the offices took place on Monday, 2nd March 2020, and this was done by the Chairman of the ARUA Board of Directors, Professor Idowu Olayinka, Vice Chancellor of University of Ibadan.
University of Glasgow and the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Friday, 28th February 2020 at the Turnbull Room, University of Glasgow. The purpose of the “MoU is to develop research co-operation and to promote mutual understanding between the two parties”.