Police Minister Bheki Cele said 841 police officers have contracted the coronavirus, with 601 in the Western Cape.
He also made the startling claim the number of arrests per province during the lockdown period correlated closely to the number of Covid-19 cases in the country.
Cele said the provinces with the highest number of arrests also had the highest number of Covid-19 cases.
The police have had to enforce extra regulations that came into effect after President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a national state of disaster when it became evident the country was not going to be spared during the global pandemic.
Cele said 243 146 people were arrested during the lockdown so far.
He rattled off the number of arrests during a live televised briefing as:
– Western Cape with 57 000 arrests.
– Gauteng with 40 000 arrests.
– KwaZulu-Natal with 27 000 arrests.
– Free State with 34 000 cases.
– Northern Cape with 8 000 cases.
– Mpumalanga with 10 000 cases.
Cele warned that from 1 June, when the Level 3 lockdown starts, there would be more roadblocks, and people could not just travel anywhere without the required permit, or good reason to be on the road.
There would also be additional monitoring in hotspots where there are higher than usual cases to make sure people are complying with the regulations.