Police union concerned at rising number of Covid-19 infections
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Pretoria - The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) is worried about the rising number of police officers contracting Covid-19.
Union spokesperson, Richard Mamabolo, said that the level of infections in the SAPS has been increasing, resulting in temporary closures of stations across the country for decontamination.
"The organisation is concerned about the rising number of infections with both the SAPS and the Correctional Services,“ he said.
As of Wednesday this week, the cumulative number of infections among the police was 24 219 with 21 3792 recoveries.
The number of those in hospital was 413 with more than 100 currently in isolation. At least 419 SAPS members had succumbed to Covid-19.
This week two police stations in Tshwane - Pretoria Central and Loate in Winterveld - had to close temporarily for decontamination.
Sections that underwent disinfection at Pretoria Central were the community service centre (CSC), crime office, lifts on the side of the CSC, cells, parade room, and bathrooms.
The station was reopened yesterday after it had been operating its community service centre from a mobile container on Bosman Street.
At the Loate police station, the community was assisted from a hall.
Mamabolo said: "It (the virus transmission) is not only happening in the SAPS, even in the Department of Correctional Services as well. We have a number of institutions that are likely to close within the coming weeks."
"It is a national crisis. And if no action is taken to suppress the increasing numbers we think it will have an adverse effect on the role which our police play in our communities," he said.
He said Popcru would continue to have meetings involving both the police management and correctional services.
"Through the engagement we look at the ways in which they can suppress the numbers," he said.
"We had an arrangement that we must have a 50/50 staff complement that will rotate on a weekly basis. At least with the SAPS there is some level of cooperation with the management," he said.
Mamabolo said it was important to take precautionary measures and ensure that police worked under safer conditions.