Home South African Covid-19 claims lives of 618 police officers

Covid-19 claims lives of 618 police officers

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The Covid-19 pandemic has claimed the lives of 618 police officers since it began last year.

National police commissioner Bheke Cele Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

THE COVID-19 pandemic has claimed the lives of 618 police officers since it began last year.

This was announced by Police Minister Bheki Cele on Friday.

Cele said while the police were fighting criminals the Covid-19 pandemic has also affected them.

The government has in the last few months reprioritised funding to deal with Covid-19.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize told Parliament on Thursday they were ready with the rollout of Phase 2 of the vaccination programme.

Phase 1, which included the vaccination of 1.2 million healthcare workers started three months ago.

The government has come under fire because the vaccination programme has managed to give jabs to only 455,000 healthcare workers.

Mkhize has blamed the delay on the Astrazeneca fiasco after the vaccine was found to be less effective against the South African variant.

Another delay occurred after the US halted the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine following blood clots found in six women in that country.

However, Mkhize said they would now speed up the rollout when Phase 2 of the vaccination programme starts on Monday.

Cele said they were concerned that while they were fighting crime police officers still died of Covid-19.

POLITICAL BUREAU