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WSU fashion design students produce masks to help fight COVID-19

May 19, 2020
WSU fashion design students produce masks to help fight COVID-19

Mthatha - Walter Sisulu University second-year Fashion Design students have braved the Covid-19 pandemic to help produce two thousand Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for university staff.

The five-day mass production project is manned by thirteen students and their lecturer, Ms Nomonde Peter, who commended the students’ dedication to their craft.

“We initially had in excess of 20 students to assist with the production of PPEs, but due to fear of infection and panic among the students, we found ourselves working with these 13 brave and passionate designers,” Peter said.

Unbridled and eager to serve, second-year student, Siyasanga Cwala, said she could not refuse the opportunity to gain first-hand manufacturing experience under any circumstances.

“This is an opportunity for us as students to hone our skills around a sewing machine. We are also learning about the intricacies of mass production and professionalism that come with it,” she said.

WSU remains closed and no staff members are allowed to access campuses without authorisation until such time that the university issues clear communication to return to work.  Staff members are expected to continue working remotely.

WSU has also embarked on a deep cleaning process for all its facilities to ensure a safe environment for staff and students. Deep cleaning is in progress.

“Before we even entered the campus site we were thoroughly screened and sanitised. So far I would say it’s been very easy to comply with the social distancing regulations because there’s not a lot of us here and some are working from home,” Siyasanga said.

WSU spokesperson, Yonela Tukwayo said all areas will be sprayed with a disinfectant chemical based on quaternary ammonium.

“Whilst this should not cause panic, it forces all of us to face the reality of the Covid-19 pandemic. WSU urges all staff members to continue observing the basic guidelines to avoid infection.

"What remains encouraging is the national recovery rate of those that had contracted coronavirus. The virus is by no means a death sentence. We encourage you all to challenge the seemingly growing Covid-19 stigma and remain supportive of any friends, family and colleagues that have contracted the virus,” she added.

Earlier in the week, WSU recorded its first positive case of the coronavirus from one of the essential staff members at the Mthatha Campus. 

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