We are all aware of the pandemic of the COVID19 and understand that in this times of uncertainties, it is best to stick to regulations and keep ourselves and staff informed as much as possible.
Yesterday, in his address to the nation, President, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the actions to be taken to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
The following is the list of measures announced by Cyril Ramaphosa:
- A national state of disaster is declared in terms of the Disaster Management Act.
- Travel ban on high risk countries from 18 March 2020.
- SA Citizens to not travel to high risk countries.
- Gatherings of more than 100 people is prohibited.
- Large events and celebrations are cancelled.
- Schools closed from Wed 18 March until Easter weekend.
- working closely with unis, colleges etc. to increase hygiene and put other appropriate responses in place.
- Businesses are called upon to take measures to intensify hygiene control.
- Surveillance and testing systems are being strengthened at hospitals.
- Partnering with the private sector to develop a tracing, tracking and monitoring system for all those affected by coronavirus.
- Calling on everyone to take various personal measures as previously stated (hygiene, elbow greetings, etc.).
- Package to be put together as a response to the economic impact of the disease.
- Establishment of National Command Council chaired by Pres to meet 3 times a week to coordinate responses to pandemic.
What are we doing at ORT SA
Our plan of action is guided by ensuring the wellness of our staff and of our beneficiaries. https://www.ortsa.org.za/summing-up-2019/ We will be examining the guidelines from government and WHO (World Health Organisation) on a daily basis and will take the necessary precautions to avoid contraction of the virus and ensure the safety of all. At the moment, government’s recommendation is to avoid gatherings of more than 100 people. We are planning to take extra precaution of not more than 40 people in certain workshops and on condition that at least one meter space is kept between each person.
- All our workshops and talks run by ORT Jet have been cancelled till further notice. The reason for this is that, at the moment, many of the people carrying the COVID19 have been overseas and many of the participants of these workshops have either been overseas or been in touch with someone that has been overseas.
- The training run by the ORT SA Skills Academy will carry on in smaller groups of up to 20-25 people per group ensuring safe distance from each other
- STEM training, carries on with IT Essential (a group of less than 20 people) and with the NW IT Bridging course (32 beneficiaries)
- We will re-examine the above on a daily basis
While the office is to remain open and operational, we will try our best to ensure that staff keeps to the hygiene guidelines. Special attention will be given to higher risk employees (TB, Hypertension, Pregnancy, HIV/AIDS and Diabetes).
We advise that anyone hosting youth or beneficiaries for training or workplace experience adhere to these simple rules:
1. Washing hands regularly, don’t touch your face
The best method to prevent Coronavirus is by washing hands for 20 seconds with soap and water. Soap dissolves the fatty membrane holding the virus together and disintegrate when it comes in contact with soap and water. The way the virus spreads is through respiratory droplets (from a cough or a sneeze) getting into your nose, mouth or eyes. This is why it is recommended not to touch your face and cough into your elbow.
In addition, hand sanitizers will be available at central areas around ORT, including, at reception, for all training, in the upstairs area, at security hut and in our car.
2. Social Distancing
Minimise physical contact with others. Stop shaking hands (do the ‘CR elbow shake’) and don’t hug. Keep at least one meter from people in seating and meetings.
3. If anyone is feeling sick – speak to manager
If any staff experience any of the Coronavirus symptoms such as fever, coughing, problems breathing, they should alert their HOD or HR or line manager for further instructions or guidelines.
At the moment we are going with the motto that prevention is better than cure and putting measures in place to reduce the risk as much as possible.
Yours in education
CEO ORT SA