More than 7,000 South African police contract COVID-19

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses a media conference at the end of the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg on July 27, 2018, as the heads of the BRICS group -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- met in Johannesburg for an annual summit dominated by the risk of a US-led trade war.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses a media conference at the end of the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg on July 27, 2018, as the heads of the BRICS group -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- met in Johannesburg for an annual summit dominated by the risk of a US-led trade war. Five of the biggest emerging economies on July 26, stood by the multilateral system and vowed to strengthen economic cooperation in the face of US tariff threats and unilateralism. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Themba Hadebe

A total of 7,021 South African police officers have tested positive to COVID-19 while 53 have passed away, the Police Minister, Bheki Cele, said on Wednesday.

Cele said at a news conference, on plans to combat COVID-19 and compliance, in Pretoria that 4,949 police officers have been quarantined while 150 have been hospitalised.

“This pandemic is indiscriminate, no one is immune; it even attacks those entrusted with protecting us.

“A number of justice, crime prevention and security cluster officials have tested positive.

“The good news is that many of them have fully recovered and are back in the front line serving their communities,’’ he said.

The minister mentioned that 3,688 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in South African jails including the 1,485 inmates and 2,203 prison warders.

Among them, 15 inmates and 31 officials have died of COVID-19.

He called for all to cooperate to flatten the COVID-19 curve.

“It is the same for all of us South Africans; if we are responsible, if we do respect one another, if we work with those serving us during this pandemic, we will overcome it.

“We will break its transmission.

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“As the president has told us, the answer is in our hands,’’ Cele said.

He said the Police would intensify patrols, roadblocks, stop and search to ensure compliance with social distancing and other lockdown regulations.

A total of 298,292 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in South Africa.

Government has imposed further measures including reinstating curfew to flatten the curve of the pandemic. (Xinhua/NAN)



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