Over 20,000 arrested in S. Africa for breaching COVID-19 lockdown rules
More than 20,000 people have been arrested in South Africa for failing to comply with lockdown regulations since Dec. 29, 2020, when the country introduced level-three measures against the COVID-19 pandemic, Police Minister Bheki Cele said on Wednesday.
Of those arrested, almost 7,500 were nabbed for not wearing face masks and 834 people for violating a ban on selling, transporting and distributing alcohol, the minister said.
"These arrests were made despite people being told continuously to wear their masks," Cele said. "Wearing a mask is mandatory and people caught without one in public, are committing an offense."
"I want to stress the point that the law enforcement agencies do not enjoy making these arrests as these laws are there to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus that's ravaging our country," he said.
South Africa now has the largest number of confirmed cases and deaths related to COVID-19 on the African continent, at 1,259,748 and 34,334 respectively.