The South African Police Service (SAPS) Flying Squad has now been grounded as two members have tested positive for COVID-19. This comes after the 10111 emergency call centre in Maitland has been temporarily closed after two staff members there also tested positive for the virus.
According to national SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo, the call centre was closed on Wednesday, April 15 when a sergeant and constable from separate shifts were confirmed to have contracted the virus.
“All evacuation, screening and testing and decontamination processes began at the centre. We are just waiting for the 48 hours to pass, so we should have the call centre up and running by 6pm today,” he said to IOL.
Calls that usually go to the 10111 centre are currently being rerouted to other cluster command centres to ensure that SAPS are still able to carry out their service delivery. The quarantine on the Flying Squad and 10111 call centre, however, means that no police vehicles and members of the unit will be able to patrol the streets.
A police officer in Hermanus, and another in Athlone, tested positive for the coronavirus. These two stations were both temporarily closed as a result, with the Athlone station already reopened earlier this week.