The South African Medical Association (SAMA) says stricter lockdown measures need to be implemented to curb the spread of the coronavirus or else the country risks losing the fight against the pandemic.
South Africa is in the midst of its third wave with 95 772 active COVID-19 cases after 13 246 new infections were recorded in the last reporting period.
Another 136 people have succumbed to coronavirus-related illnesses.
Almost 60 percent or 7 859 of the new cases are in Gauteng.
SAMA chairperson Dr Angelique Coetzee says Gauteng hospitals are running out of beds and oxygen.
“There should be tighter restrictions on gatherings, people should stay at home as much as possible, we need to look at the schools again, especially in Gauteng. If you want a bed in Gauteng you are going to struggle so this is what we’re seeing and if we want to get out of this we need to make tough decisions. But it seems like it’s not going to happen so for now it is what it is and no one should be astonished if the numbers go up,” says Coetzee.
According to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) last report almost 9 000 people are now being treated in hospitals across the country after another 940 were admitted to hospitals.
Private hospitals are under severe pressure as they are treating more than 5 900 of the patients compared to 2 815 in state facilities.
Latest SA COVID-19 stats:
On Tuesday during his address to the nation, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the pace is picking up with up to 85 000 people now being vaccinated daily.
He says to date 2.4 million Pfizer vaccine doses have arrived in the country which will increase to 3.1 million by the end of the month.
Government has also received an indication from Johnson and Johnson that the 2 million doses that had to be destroyed will be replaced by the end of the month.
Ramaphosa says a statistic that provides hope is that only 64 healthcare workers have been infected in the last seven days compared to 640 at a similar point in the second wave.
Announcing that South Africa was moving back to alert level 3 lockdown on Tuesday night, Ramaphosa said the roll out will be boosted considerably over the next few weeks.
“It is estimated that we have the capacity at present to vaccinate at least 150 000 people a day and we’re planning to increase that to 250 000 a day as soon as possible, I would prefer 300 000 a day, which we shall try and reach.”
South Africa moves to lockdown alert level 3: