At least seven police officers die from Covid-19 related complications on a weekly basis; statistics compiled by the police has shown.
According to a concerned police officer that preferred not to be named for fear of victimisation, it is difficult to minimise infections among cops because they are forced to arrest offenders including those who refuse to wear masks.
The situation is so dire that the Police monthly newsletter has decided not to publish obituaries for the month of June to avoid causing an alarm because of the high number of fatalities.
The source spoke out after The Voice inquired about the two Gaborone Central Police Station Crime Investigations Department officers who died of Covid last week.
Their colleagues are in isolation and some in quarantine.
“Our offices are very small, which makes it difficult to curb the spread of the virus because we can’t social distance. For fingerprints, you have to hold a person’s fingers to get a proper print. I think some of the services should be offered online because shifting is going to be a challenge since we are also few. The situation is getting worse by the day. As we speak, about ten officers at Central are in isolation and quarantine. The sad thing is we do not know how many will come back alive,” the source revealed.
The worried and frightened officer said unfortunately they do not have a union to fight for their rights and barena (their superiors) are silent on the covid-19 matter.
The situation, he said, has affected productivity and the crime rate, especially smash and grab, has increased because police are thin on the ground.
When reached for comment on what they are doing to manage the situation, Police Spokesperson, Assistant Police Commissioner Dipheko Motube, said any questions about Covid must be addressed to the Presidential Covid 19 Task Force.