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South Africa Medical Association calls for fresh restrictions as cases top 1 mln

Shot of COVID-19 testing facility in South Africa.   -  
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South Africa

The South African Medical Association (SAMA) on Monday called for new lockdown restrictions. The country's COVID-19 spike reached 1 million confirmed cases on Sunday.

President Cyril Ramaphosa convened an emergency meeting on Sunday of the National Coronavirus Command Council over the spike in cases.

"Nightclubs, weddings, shebeens (local taverns), going to the mall just for the sake of going to the mall, not wearing your masks. And we would also like them to have the numbers reduced of people, especially attending the churches", said Dr. Angelique Coetzee, Chairperson South African Medical Association (SAMA).

The Southern African nation's new variant of the coronavirus, 501.V2, is more contagious and has quickly become dominant in many areas of the resurgence, according to experts.

"We are in our festive season and also seeing a lot of trauma related incidents as in motor vehicle accidents, alcohol and drug abuse as well as your normal stuff as in hypertension patients or patients with heart attacks that need attention", Dr. Coetzee added.

With South Africa's hospitals reaching capacity and no sign of the new surge reaching a peak, Ramaphosa is expected to announce a return to restrictive measures designed to slow the spread of the disease.

South African Medical Association says hospitals are struggling to cope with the influx of patients.

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