Universities to reopen soon?

The Chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC) says plans are afoot to fully vaccinate all the members of the academic and non-academic staff of the Sri Lanka University system against COVID-19, in a bid to reopen the universities soon.

Senior Professor Sampath Amaratunga made this remark in a statement directed to the Government Information Department on Friday (Sep. 17).

According to the UGC Chairman, a rapid vaccination program has been implemented in collaboration with the health authorities.

Both vaccines have already been given to the academic and non-academic staff members above the age of 30 years in all universities, he said further.

Prof. Amaratunga added that all university administrations have been informed to take necessary actions to coordinate with the nearest health services centres in each district to vaccinate university students and academic and non-academic staff members aged below 30 years.

Furthermore, the staff of the UGC below and over 30 years have already been administered both doses of respective vaccines.

Prof. Amaratunga said vaccinations for university staff members were completed expeditiously on a special permission obtained from authorities, as enrolment to universities for the coming year is currently in place and calling the staff for duty is essential.

In the meantime, a monitoring system under the direct supervision of the UGC to assess the progress of the vaccination on the university staff below 30 and students is in place. The universities are expected to reopen subsequent to the evaluation of the progress and discussions with the health authorities, university vice chancellors and other related parties.

Although the universities are physically closed, the usual academic and non-academic activities are continuing hassle-free with the help of modern communication technology systems, Prof. Amaratunga noted.