As the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases among the police force continues to increase, the second wave has become evident at police stations.
According to the South African Police Service (SAPS), as of 7 January, 14 police stations in Gauteng have been temporarily closed for decontamination as a member of staff at the stations had tested positive.
In the past 30 days, it was reported that Sandton Police Station was temporarily closed for decontamination on three separate occasions.
Spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo confirmed that as of 31 December, the police service confirmed more than 21,000 infections of members, of which more than 19,000 have recovered, and 340 Covid-19-related deaths. In Gauteng, 3,436 officers tested positive for the novel virus.
Deputy Police Minister Cassel Mathale and National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole were among those who were infected.
Provincial spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters noted that officers were at greater risk of exposure and infection because they provided an essential service working in the frontline in support of government’s response to the second wave.
“They balance crime prevention and enforcement of the adjusted Level 3 lockdown regulations. It is on this basis that the SAPS, through the Provincial Covid-19 Steering Committee, is hard at work ensuring that members are protected through the provision of the necessary PPE and regular decontamination of affected police stations and SAPS buildings,” said Peters.
Peters confirmed that while the stations underwent a brief period of decontamination, all essential services remained in place and service delivery was in no way compromised to the community.
“The closure of a station for decontamination on confirmation of a positive case is temporary and may vary from 24 to 48 hours maximum. During such a temporary closure, the SAPS management has contingency plans in place to relocate services to alternative premises to ensure that service delivery to the public is not interrupted.”
An alternative venue from where a Community Service Centre (CSC) would operate as well as alternative telephone numbers was always communicated.
“All employees of the South African Police Service remain committed to our duty to serve the people of South Africa without interruption. Essential public services like ours remain stable in this time of uncertainty.”
This article was republished from Sandton Chronicle with permission