Police Minister: More than 7000 South African officers have contracted COVID-19

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

Cele noted that 4,949 police officers have been quarantined while 150 have been hospitalized.

“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.

Cele 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. As the president has told us, the answer is in our hands,” he said.

Cele said the police will 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. The government has imposed further measures including reinstating curfew to flatten the curve of the pandemic.