Dear Partners and Stakeholders
On the 11th of March 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Coronavirus (COVID-19) as an international ‘pandemic’. On Sunday 15 March the President of South Africa declared a national state of disaster, including several serious measures to help reduce the impact of the disease. These are outlined in the full statement.
1. Guidelines from the WHO
The WHO is the highest medical authority on diseases. These are their guidelines and here is their Q&A page.
2. South African DoH guidance on Coronavirus
This is the South African Health Department’s website on Coronavirus. Which has all the details on South Africa’s response, contact numbers etc.
What are we doing about this at CASME?
The decisions taken and outlined here are based on the following principles:
No local and international flights are allowed from 15 March 2020 to 30 April 2020. As more information becomes available on the extent of the spread these dates may be extended at some point in the future.
2) Washing hands regularly, don’t touch your face
The best method of preventing coronavirus is by washing your hands for 20-seconds with soap and water. The way the virus gets into your system is through your nose, your mouth or your eyes. Respiratory droplets (from a cough or a sneeze) that get into your mouth/eye/nose are what infect you. For that reason don’t touch your face, cough into your elbow and wash your hands often.
3) Extensive Social distancing - meetings and training workshops
One of the most effective ways of preventing the spread of the disease is to minimize unnecessary physical contact with others. This includes shaking people’s hands and hugging. CASME staff will use alternatives like the foot-tap, the sup, the hip-bump or the bow. Please don’t be offended. They will also keep at least one meter away from people who show any symptoms of having the flu.
As part of our extensive social distancing campaign all CASME staff are eligible to work from home, particularly those who rely on public transport. They will however still be available over email and telephone. We will try and move as many of our meetings to Zoom rather than in-person.
All teacher workshops, learner classes and other group activities are cancelled until 14 April when schools are scheduled to reopen. We will assess the status then and revise this if needed.
We acknowledge that these extreme measures will impact on our work with schools, teachers and learners. We will do our best to mitigate these through electronic distribution of resources and support, and to re-schedule activities as soon as it is reasonable to do so.
Thank you for patience and continued support and assistance as we work together to limit the impact of this global health crisis.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0824405242 for assistance or clarification.
Henre Benson (Director) and the CASME Team
*With thanks to Nic Spaull and Funda Wande for sharing their version of this document from which we have borrowed substantially