Unitech goes into lockdown

The PNG University of Technology senior management has rescheduled four days of classes into the second half of the semester as part of the two-week total lockdown on campus.

The University administration decision follows the deaths of two senior academics who died within a day of each other and had developed signs of COVID-19 prior to their deaths. The actual cause of deaths has yet to be confirmed.

One-week classes that were scheduled for Week 7 of the Semester, that is Tuesday to Friday of this week, will be rescheduled and be incorporated into the teaching plans of the second half of the semester, that is in Weeks 8-13 of the First Semester. Next week (12th -16th April) is the mid-semester break as per the university academic calendar.

On Saturday 3rd April 2021, the university lost its first national Professor and Head of Department for Mechanical Engineering, Professor John Pumwa, and the following day on Sunday 04th April 2021, it lost again another Mechanical Engineering lecturer, Karo Komuna. 

Both had developed shortness of breath prior to their deaths.

As an interim precautionary measure, the University management has decided to suspend all classes for two weeks and impose a total lockdown. During this period, the university will implement other preventative measures to halt a possible widespread community transmission of COVID-19 on campus.

Interim measures now imposed by the management are:

  1. Mandatory wearing of mask on Taraka campus by students, staff and dependents. Nobody should be in a public space without a mask.
  2. Social distancing is now compulsory. Maintenance of 1.5m spacing
  3. Use of hand sanitising spray or gel regularly  
  4. Area 5 gate will be locked permanently for the 14 days
  5. Staff, students and dependents with proper IDs will be allowed through the gates
  6. All gates will be locked after 10 pm.

The University has already put in other measures, such as hand sanitisers, hand water basins at all academic departments and service units, and the use of hybrid mode of conducting classes online.

Other preventative measures and directives will be issued later this week by the University management.

The university management has appealed to all to comply with these directives and urged all not be irresponsible and ignorant of the imminent risk faced by the university community.

Press release