'Officers who tested for Covid-19 returned to work': JMPD staff

Officers from the Johannesburg metro police department claim that their colleagues who were tested for Covid-19 returned to work without being placed in quarantine

22 May 2020 - 07:49
By Iavan Pijoos
JMPD has confirmed that four of its officers tested positive for Covid-19.
Image: JMPD JMPD has confirmed that four of its officers tested positive for Covid-19.

Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) staff claimed on Friday that colleagues exposed to the coronavirus were not put into quarantine while awaiting test results - potentially endangering the public, police and soldiers at roadblocks.

An employee who identified herself as Nancy, told Bongani Bingwa on radio 702 on Friday  that two colleagues went for tests and returned to work afterwards.

“This is a great concern. We work in an open plan office and two colleagues went to test and we were not told that they went for testing.

“They went to test and came back to the office. We are surprised and we wanted to find out what are the measures after being tested? Are you not supposed to stay at home after being tested?

Some employees alleged that colleagues who were sent for tests continued to work at roadblocks enforcing the lockdown regulations - while awaiting their results.

The JMPD confirmed on Thursday that four officers had tested positive for Covid-19.

Spokesperson Wayne Minnaar said one officer fell ill on night shift last week Wednesday and was tested at Milpark Hospital. The results returned positive on May 15.

Minnaar said a total of 107 officers who were in contact with the employee were then  tested. Three more officers tested positive and were placed in quarantine.  

In response to the officers’ claims on Friday morning, Minnaar said: “Why did the officers not escalate it to top management and we would have intervened?

“There are adequate facilities in the city, why did they not seek assistance?”

He denied the allegations that officers tested for Covid-19 and returned to work.

“Management don’t know of any other cases,” he added.