Military and police personnel are on duty in Johannesburg, South Africa, April 16, 2020. (Photo by Yeshiel/Xinhua)
A total of 7,021 South African police officers have tested positive to COVID-19 while 53 have passed away, said the police minister Bheki Cele on Wednesday in Pretoria.
PRETORIA, July 15 (Xinhua) -- A total of 7,021 South African police officers have tested positive to COVID-19 while 53 have passed away, said the police minister Bheki Cele on Wednesday in Pretoria at a press conference on plans to combat COVID-19 and compliance.
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.
A soldier of South African National Defense Force carries a baby in his arm in Johannesburg, South Africa, April 20, 2020. (Photo by Yeshiel/Xinhua)
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. Government has imposed further measures including reinstating curfew to flatten the curve of the pandemic. ■