253 cops from the South African Police Service have tested positive for Covid-19, Police Minister Bheki Cele said on Friday.
Briefing a joint meeting of parliamentary committees, Cele said 178 positive police officers were from the Western Cape alone, and the remaining 75 were from the other eight provinces.
Cele said the Eastern Cape had 13 positive cases, Gauteng ,11, KwaZulu-Natal ,eight, and the five other provinces recorded little numbers.
He said the SAPS management was equally concerned with the rising numbers of officers who were infected.
Cele said there was a national steering committee for containment and management of the pandemic in the police service.
"The committee developed protocols and SAPS members are screened on a daily basis in line with Department of Health protocols.
"Where there are reported positive cases, all members in direct contact get tested and sent to quarantine immediately," he added.
Cele told the MPs about fears of SAPS members contracting diseases as they now searched coffins as more people used them to conceal alcohol and drugs, among other things.
File Picture: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency (ANA)
He said people were claiming to be enroute to funerals with coffins filled with dagga or alcohol.
"It is posing a serious challenge. You have to open coffins because there are drugs and alcohol," Cele said.
"It puts our members in danger of being infected with disease as they do their job," he said.