Pretoria – Six hundred and 11 members of the SAPS, the SANDF, and all other security forces at the frontline of Covid-19 pandemic have tested positive for the coornavirus with six deaths confirmed, Police Minister Bheki Cele said on Friday.
In his briefing, Cele said: “Our condolences go out to the families and colleagues of six of our members who have succumbed to the virus. Two of these members passed away yesterday in the Western Cape, bringing to total four Covid-19 related deaths in the province.
The Western Cape also made up the bulk of confirmed cases with 411 cases. The Eastern Cape followed with 47 cases.
There have been 101 recoveries, Cele said.
“Let me commend the SAPS Covid-19 National and Provincial Steering Committees for ensuring that protocols are in place and that they are being followed. The intensive screening and testing has seen hundreds of members go in isolation, and over 3 000 quarantined.
“I know that our communities have been nervous about police members testing positive and stations being shut down. The truth is, as soon as a SAPS member or PSA employee from any police station or any SAPS building tests positive, the Department of Health is brought on board.
“Occupants of the specific building are screened and/or tested. The building or facility must be vacated immediately for decontamination and can only be reoccupied after a period of 12 to 48 hours.”
Cele said that there were about 121 stations countrywide and 40 units where members have tested positive and the premises contaminated.
With the Western Cape being the hardest hit province so far, it is reported that at least 19 stations have had to be decontaminated again:
5. Mitchells Plain
18.Cape Town Central
“Once a building is temporarily shut for decontamination, alternative accommodation is arranged for the CSC so that our communities still have access to service points. SAPS has sent out alerts and notices to immediately inform the public of alternative accommodation at stations where members have tested positive,” Cele said.
By IOL Reporter