South Africa closes three more police stations after officers test positive to covid-19
London, May 4, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Three more police stations in Western Cape province have been placed under a 48-hour lockdown by the South African government for decontamination due to new Covid-19 infections.
Lwandle police station in Strand became the latest to report an infection of a staff member on Saturday, following cases in Somerset West and Langa.
Police spokesperson Novela Potelwa said operations at the stations were relocated to alternative buildings.
“Operations have been moved to separate buildings in the same premises and decontamination has started. The relocations are also to ensure service delivery continues.
“Members who have been in contact with the infected cases are undergoing screening testing and some have been quarantined,” said Potelwa
Last week Lentegeur, Philippi East and the Cape Town Central police stations had to relocate their services after several officers had contracted the virus.
About 58 police officers in the province, including one in Ceres, have been infected.
According to the head of the police’s strategic management, Major General Leon Rabie, by Wednesday 103 police officers across the country had tested positive.
There’s been one death in KwaZulu-Natal, and 89 have been isolated.
Three people were hospitalised, 10 have recovered, and more than 1000 have been quarantined.
“The biggest threat, from a resource perspective, remains a reduced workforce, due to increasing levels of infections. In addition to preventive measures implemented, levels of infection and the impact on staffing levels are constantly being monitored. Measures are implemented to limit the exposure of personnel,” said Rabie.
Police unions said they were deeply concerned about the large spike in numbers.
SA Police and Allied Workers Union president Bonga Makuliwe said the numbers were expected to increase on a daily basis, because of a shortage of personal protective equipment in police stations.
Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union spokesperson Richard Mamabolo advised that screening processes be increased in police stations, while the South African Policing Union questioned the sanitation protocols of station vehicles when shifts changed.