South African Medical Association (Sama) chairperson, Dr Angelique Coetzee, says doctors are now showing signs of emotional fatigue amid the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

She says the Department of Health should give doctors compulsory leave when possible to allow them some time to rest.

Coetzee has expressed concern about young intern doctors being pressed into service against the coronavirus.

“Our country is extremely poor prepared for any pandemic. When I hear that they want to put interns in the frontline my heart goes out to these interns. Because they are the youngest and they are the lowest in the rank, what will happen to these young doctors? I have not seen that the department has trauma counselling, a compulsory trauma counselling [and] compulsory leave after you have done 6 weeks of very very hard work – just give them a break,” adds Coetzee.

Pressure continues to pile up on health workers in Gauteng hospitals:

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases reported 13 347 new COVID-19 cases.

This brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 1 954 466.

This increase represents a 26.2 % positivity rate.

The Gauteng province accounts for the majority of new cases (67%), followed by the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces (7% each).

A further 226 COVID-19-related deaths have been reported, bringing the total number of fatalities to 60 264.

An increase of 711 hospital admissions has been reported in the past 24 hours and 13 062 835 tests have been conducted in both public and private sectors.

Latest COVID-19 statistics in South Africa:

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