Cele says 611 cops have tested positive for Covid-19

Minister of Police General Bheki Cele. Picture: EPA-EFE / NIC BOTHMA

The minister says 101 cops have recovered, and that 441 positive cases were recorded in the Western Cape followed by the Eastern Cape, 47.

Police Minister Bheki Cele has said that a total of 611 members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) have tested positive for Covid-19.

Of this total, 101 of these members have since recovered, the minister said.

The most recorded cases of SAPS members who tested positive for the virus were in the Western Cape, 441, followed by the Eastern Cape, with 47 recorded cases, Cele said, adding that the rest of the cases were from throughout the country.

Six police officers have succumbed to Covid-19, Cele said. Two from the Western Cape passed on this week, increasing the tally in the province to four, with one death in KwaZulu-Natal and another in the Eastern Cape.

Cele offered his condolences to the families of these members and thanked police officers, security forces and other law enforcement agencies in the frontline during this period.

The minister said he was aware that it was a concern for communities when SAPS members tested positive for Covid-19 and police stations were subsequently shut down.

However, he assured communities that as soon as a member tested positive for Covid-19, the department of health was immediately contacted and the necessary protocols were followed.

These included the isolation of the member who has tested positive, the screening of members who may have come into contact with the positive member, testing, and the subsequent decontamination of the police station, the minister said.

Cele said there were 121 police stations countrywide where members have tested positive and the stations have had to be decontaminated, with the Western Cape being “hardest hit”.

He said 19 police stations in the Western Cape have had to be decontaminated, some twice or more, adding that SAPS members based at these stations were screened before going back to work.

Cele said the police immediately informed the public when a police station had had to be shut down for decontamination, and about where the police would move to in the interim to continue providing services.

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