Some 14 police officers have succumbed to the coronavirus pandemic in South Africa, leading their South African Policing Union (SAPU) to call on the authorities to offer them better protection from the disease.The late officers were among the more than 1,600 cops who tested positive for the disease, SAPU general secretary Tumelo Mogodiseng said on Friday.
He said the fatalities and infections rates were worrying.
“As police officers, it is very difficult to maintain social distancing as we have to come in contact with members of the public to make arrests,” , Mogodiseng said.
The official bemoaned the shortage of personal protective equipment and uniforms as a major challenge for union members.
“As soon as you make an arrest, you don’t know if that particular person who you had arrested was positive or negative of Covid-19,” Mogodiseng said.
There has been no reaction yet from the authorities on the SAPU’s concern.
South Africa has deployed over 20,000 cops nationwide to police the two-month coronavirus pandemic lockdown which is slowly easing restrictions – but still in force.
Some 1,831 people have died from 87,715 coronavirus cases in the country so far.