South African Police Services (SAPS) in Gauteng says it has measures in place to deal with the outbreak of coronavirus at its stations across the province. This is as it is reported that Silverton Police Station is one of the latest to be hit by the virus.
Sunnyside Police Station was closed temporarily after a member tested positive for COVID-19. The latest is that a police station in Ga-Rankuwa had been temporarily closed after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19.
Statistics of the cases
In Gauteng, police say they cannot issue statistics of infections as well as the number of police stations affected. However, the provincial police service says it can confirm that a number of police stations in the province are closing down on a daily basis due to the outbreak of coronavirus infections.
“At this stage, it is only the minister who will give an update and statistics on infections of members, recoveries, and fatalities. I can, however, confirm that the number of stations closed for decontamination is increasing on daily basis but police management has put contingency measures in place to contain and minimise the spread of the virus,” says Spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters.
Peters says as much as they closed down police stations immediately services are not affected as they are relocated to a nearby place of operation.
“In the event that a member at the station tests positive there is a protocol in place to ensure that further spread is contained and that service delivery is not interrupted. Services are usually relocated temporarily to nearby alternative premises until the decontamination process is concluded. We also give out telephone numbers and emergency numbers of the station commander, relief commander which members of the public can use during this 12 to 24 hour period until the station is reopened.”
Contingency measures in place
Meanwhile, Peters says when a police official tests positive necessary measures are taken as stipulated in COVID -19 health protocols.
“In terms of the members, those members who were in contact with the affected member undergo screening and or testing and if necessary are sent into isolation. This is done in consultation with the health professionals.”
Despite reports that there is a coronavirus outbreak at Silverton Police Station, the station continues to operate as normal.
Meanwhile, the Police Ministry says the evacuation and the decontamination of police stations are taking place as soon as an infection is recorded. The department says contingency measures are always in place to ensure that service delivery at police stations is not affected by coronavirus outbreak.
“ All the while contingency measures are in place to ensure that service delivery is not compromised in any way. While some buildings were temporarily closed affected police stations make use of mobile units as well as nearby buildings to continue the business of the day. The latest figures from mid-June show that 14 officers of the South African Police Service lost the battle against the COVID-19 and over 1600 officers were infected by the virus,” says Lirandzu Themba, who’s Minister Bheki Cele’s spokesperson.
Below are the latest coronavirus statistics in South Africa: