Covid-19: Bheki Cele confirms 6 members of SAPS, SANDF dead, 611 cases

Covid-19: Bheki Cele confirms 6 members of SAPS, SANDF dead, 611 cases

- Police Minister Bheki Cele confirmed that 611 members of frontline security forces have tested positive for Covid-19

- Of those SANDF and SAPS members, six of them have lost their lives to the virus

- The bulk of those members are based in the Western Cape

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When President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the initial 21-day lockdown, he called upon the services of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and South African Police Services (SAPS).

The frontline security services were brought in to enforce the lockdown regulations, but ultimately to ensure the health and safety of all South Africans.

However, the news confirmed by Police Minister Bheki Cele on Friday served as a chilling reminder of how vulnerable they are as well.

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Cele confirmed that 611 members had tested positive for the coronavirus and that six of those have already lost their lives.

Cele said, "Our condolences go out to the families and colleagues of six of our members who have succumbed to the virus. Two of these members passed away yesterday in the Western Cape, bringing to total four Covid-19 related deaths in the province."

IOL reported that the Western Cape accounted for the majority of Covid-19 cases, with 411.

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The minister was quick to assure the public that the correct protocols are being followed as soon as a member of the police force tests positive.

Cele added, "I know that our communities have been nervous about police members testing positive and stations being shut down. The truth is, as soon as a SAPS member or PSA employee from any police station or any SAPS building tests positive, the Department of Health is brought on board."

Cele confirmed that 121 stations and 40 units were affected where members tested positive for the virus.

Meanwhile, earlier reported that smokers, in addition to not being able to purchase cigarettes, will now be forced to prove how they got their hands on tobacco in the first place.

However, Cele insists that smoking in your home remains perfectly legal during the lockdown.

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