253 police officers have tested positive for Covid-19

08 May 2020 - 13:02 By Naledi Shange
A total of 253 police officers have tested positive for the coronavirus since the outbreak.
A total of 253 police officers have tested positive for the coronavirus since the outbreak.
Image: File Daily Dispatch

In the same way the coronavirus has rattled essential service providers like doctors and nurses, the police service has not been spared.

Police minister Bheki Cele on Friday revealed that the current number of police officers who had tested positive for the virus was 253 across the country.

Cele revealed this when he answered questions before the portfolio committee on police and select committee on security and justice.

He said the bulk of infections were in the Western Cape, which accounted for 178 of the total number. This was followed by the Eastern Cape with 13 cases, Gauteng with 12 and KwaZulu-Natal with eight cases.

Cele expressed his concern about the number of infections in the police service, adding that the police had put measures in place to try to prevent the spread.

“SA Police Service (SAPS) members are screened daily when they report for duty in line with the department of health protocols. In addition to that, the screening of SAPS members is conducted by the department of health and Polmed [the medical aid for police], which has partnered with SAPS by proactively deploying 300 nurses to conduct screening and testing of members in all police station and units,” Cele said.

Thandi Thabethe, who is 53, was arrested in Dobsonville, Soweto, on April 23 2020 for selling atchar without a permit during lockdown. Thabethe's arrest was recorded on video and circulated on social media. Despite being released from her holding cell, Thabethe still faces some backlash from her community after returning home. TimesLIVE sat down with Thabethe following the incident.