The South African Medical Association (SAMA) says the health sector is yet to document the true impact of the recent violent protest action – saying not enough COVID-19 testing was conducted amid the unrest.

South Africa recorded 16 435 new coronavirus infections on Thursday, which represents a 29.9% positivity rate.

Over 16 400 new daily COVID-19 cases have been recorded, bringing the total number of infections to 2 253 240.

The death toll now sits at 65 972 after a further 377 COVID-19 related deaths.

SAMA’s chairperson Dr Angelique Coetzee says the official numbers are not a true reflection of what is happening on the group.

“Unfortunately, the current numbers of infections don’t really reflect what is happening at a ground level. We think that because of the cold weather, as well as the riots and safety reasons, we are seeing less people coming in. So we expect next week and the week after next week to see the true numbers of what is happening and only then can we predict about the third wave,” says Coetzee.

Impact of SA unrest and looting on healthcare services: