South African police service hit by COVID-19 pandemic

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA -APRIL 6: South African police take security measurements as former South African president Jacob Zuma supporters stage a demonstration outside KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Durban, South Africa, 06 April 2018. Zuma appeared in the Durban High court on Friday to answer several corruption and fraud charges in connection with a $2.5-billion arms deal procurement in the late 1990s. (Photo by Ihsaan Haffejee /Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
South African police hit by the COVID19 outbreak. (Photo by Ihsaan Haffejee /Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on the South African Police Service (SAPS), claiming the lives of 14 officers and infecting 1,685 others, Police Minister Bheki Cele said on Sunday.

The Western Cape province, the country’s epicenter of the pandemic, has the highest number of 1,134 positive cases, followed by the Eastern Cape with 186, Gauteng with 119 and KwaZulu-Natal with 53.

Over 600 of the infected officers have recovered from this virus and are back to work, the minister said.

The number of police officers infected with COVID-19 almost doubled since the end of May, when Cele last announced the statistics.

The latest development came as the cumulative number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Africa stood at 65,736 as of Saturday, up by 3,809 from Friday, the highest daily record since the country reported its first case on March 5.

The country also reported 69 new deaths related with COVID-19 on Saturday, bringing the death toll to 1,423.

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