Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande says that his department will use HealthCheck, a purpose-built coronavirus daily screening and monitoring tool, to allow students to return to campus safely.
Launched by the Department of Health in April, Nzimande said that the platform will be used in all higher-education institutions, including universities, and will be is available on various platforms including USSD, WhatsApp and through the web.
He added that students will not need to have a smartphone and can use any device to access the HealthCheck – including tablets.
“HealthCheck is secured to use by students and staff entering our campuses daily to self-check their body temperature and will link such data to the tracking system of the Department of Health.
“All students and staff – approximately two million people – will be required to register for HealthCheck and use it every day to assess their own level of risk prior to entering campuses.
“Based on the answers entered on the platform, the person receives a message indicating whether you are a low, moderate or high-level risk.”
Nzimande said that if the risk is low, the individual will receive clearance valid for 24 hours.
He added that the tool will allow for early detection, mapping and management of Covid-19 cases within the country’s Higher Education institutions and feeds into the Department of Health’s tracking and tracing system, he said.
HealthCheck is available on USSD for those without access to airtime or internet, with network operators MTN, Telkom and Vodacom having made access to the USSD line free.
Users can also access the service through government’s Covid-19 WhatsApp Service.
The USSD version is available by dialling *134*832# where people are prompted to follow the menu instructions and answer a series of short questions.
More details on the platform are expected to be provided to students at a later date.