The South African Medical Association (SAMA) is calling for church gatherings to be held outdoors. The association says this should form part of the stringent level 2 lockdown restrictions government should introduce.

SAMA also wants a clampdown on social gatherings.

SAMA President Dr Angelique Coetzee says stricter measures are necessary in the fight against the second wave of the pandemic that has claimed 26 521 lives in the country.

“We are only asking for Level 2 with extreme restrictions. We want to make sure that the churches, that you rather have it outside of four walls than inside. That there should be restricted amount of people. Clamp down on social gatherings, clamp weddings, funeral then please adhere and make sure that the current restrictions are in force. Also the public is part of this problem. They do not listen. And I say thank you to those ones who are really trying your best.”

SAMA is calling for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s intervention and on the public to help curb the spread of the virus.

Discussion on the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in SA:

Call for a return to hard lockdown

Nurses are also saying they can no longer cope with the influx of patients at hospitals.

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa, Denosa, wants the country to return to Level 5 of the lockdown.

Denosa Acting Secretary General, Cassim Lekhoathi, says the co-operation of the public to adhere to protocols and regulations can assist healthcare workers in the fight against COVID-19.

“The issue of the opening up of alcohol has really gone out of hand. People are not adhering to this thing and health education should be enforced. People need to be reminded that we are not out of the woods from the first level (wave). Now on the second wave, things are just getting out of hand and people are dying. And we don’t need to bring every proof to see how many people are being buried on a day to day basis. So as Dr Coetzee is saying, the communities out there do have a role to play because no amount of vaccine, no amount of policing will help the situation. We need the involvement of the communities to assist us to fight this enemy.”

South Africa is currently under level one of the lockdown, where most activities are allowed under strict rules.

Healthcare workers plead with the public to adhere to COVID-19 lockdown regulations: