Four metro police officers have tested positive for the Coronavirus. Colleagues of the officers have since come forward saying that the department was not being upfront about what happened. Contrary to what management said, it took a while before the officers who were in close contact with those infected, were isolated, risking infection through close contact with staff and members of the public. The first affected officer fell ill when working night shift on the 13th of May. He was immediately tested at the Milpark hospital and waited two days for the results. When the officer tested positive, JMPD arranged for all other officers who worked in closed contact with the infected colleague to be tested. On Monday, 107 officers were tested. But now questions have arisen about the time lapses between testing, the long wait for results, and why close contacts continued to work after the positive results were received.
Wayne Minnaar, Senior Superintendent for the JMPD, said that administrative staff were working from home and have therefore not been in contact with the infected officer. The question however remains: why were the close contacts of the infected officer not quarantined immediately pending testing and confirmed negative results? Officers were concerned because they were exposed directly to the virus and still had to work. Minnaar responded to this: “Why did that person not escalate it to management? Surely, we would have intervened and we would have assisted.” All this was in an interview with 702 host Bongani Bingwa after a caller, Nancy*, claimed that of the two officers who originally went for testing, one returned to his shift. Minnaar later confirmed that all 107 tested officers received their results and tested negative for the virus. He also denied that any officers were required to continue working while waiting for test results.