COVID-19 second wave has become evident at police stations as the number of confirmed cases among the police force continues to increase. Diepsloot, Cosmo City and Honeydew police stations have faced some temporary closures due to coronavirus second wave.
During the festive season in December, Cosmo City satellite police station was closed due to coronavirus, and the same happened to Honeydew police station a few weeks later. On 11 January, it was reported that Diepsloot police station was temporarily closed for decontamination. According to the South African Police Service (SAPS) social media page, as of 7 January, 14 police stations in Gauteng have been temporarily closed for decontamination as a member of staff at the stations had tested positive.
National South Africa Police Service spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo confirmed that as of 31 December the police service confirmed more than 21 000 infections of members of which more than 19 000 have recovered and 340 Covid-19-related deaths. In Gauteng, 3 436 officers tested positive for the novel virus. Deputy Police Minister Cassel Mathale and National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole were among those who were infected.
Provincial spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters noted that officers were at greater risk of exposure of infection because they provided an essential service working in the frontline in support of government’s response to the second wave.
“They balance crime prevention and enforcement of the adjusted Level 3 lockdown regulations. It is on this basis that the SAPS, through the Provincial Covid-19 Steering Committee, is hard at work ensuring that members are protected through the provision of the necessary PPE and regular decontamination of affected police stations and SAPS buildings,” explains Peters.