South African taxi driver charged with attempted murder after ignoring COVID-19 results

Johannesburg, May 8 (PTI) A South African taxi driver has been arrested and charged with attempted murder after insisting on transporting seven passengers in his minibus despite testing positive for COVID-19.

Police in the Western Cape province conducting a routine roadblock to test drivers and passengers said the unnamed driver was en-route to the neighbouring Eastern Cape province to drop off his passengers overnight on a 1,000 km trip.

Since the national lockdown that started on March 27, people who were away from their homes or places of employment in one of the other eight provinces of the country were not allowed to return.

Last week, the lockdown was eased slightly with a seven-day reprieve, which has now ended, for such people to return to their home locations from the province that they were stuck in.

According to the police, the driver had already been tested positive and needed to go into quarantine.

Despite this, he defied the order and put the ten others at risk as well, the police said.

The driver, as well as the ten people he had been in contact with, were all escorted back to Cape Town under police guard to be placed in quarantine.

Once his quarantine period is over, the driver will appear in court to face the charge of attempted murder under the strict lockdown regulations.

South Africa’s COVID-19 cases now stand at 8232, with 161 deaths. PTI FH NSA