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S/African doctors urge gov’t to tighten Covid-19 restrictions

South Africa's medical doctors have called on the government to revert to stricter coronavirus restrictions similar to those of the…

South Africa’s medical doctors have called on the government to revert to stricter coronavirus restrictions similar to those of the Level 2 lockdown where public gatherings were particularly limited.South African Medical Association (SAMA) president Angelique Coetzee made the call on Monday amid a surge in infections that has turned South Africa’s hospitals into Covid-19 hotspots as the country goes through the second wave of the pandemic.

“SAMA would only ask to go to Level 2 again. What we have said is this: make sure there are restrictions on gatherings because gatherings and shopping centres are our problems,” Coetzee said.

She called on South Africans to avoid hospitals unless it is absolutely necessary to go there.

“Make sure if your loved one is going to a hospital because they are not feeling well, please don’t take the whole family with you.

“It (hospital) is a Covid-19 hotspot. Stay at home. Take your patients to the casualty centre (of the hospital). Leave them there and pick them up later if they are able to go home afterward.” 

According to Coetzee, the rapid spread of the virus was caused by failure by many members of the public who were not wearing masks and were failing to follow all heath protocols. 

The warming comes as the country’s doctors and nurses said they were unable to cope with the increasing number of Covid-19 patients at hospitals nationwide.

A shortage of nurses and doctors added to the burden, Coetzee said, noting that if the Level 2 lockdown was re-introduced crowded gatherings and unlimited attendance at malls would be reduced from spreading the virus.

She spoke as South Africa breached the one-million COVID-19 cases on Sunday.

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