Covid-19: South Africa increases testing amid third wave

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People in South Africa rushed to hospitals and other medical facilities to test for coronavirus, as a third wave of infections continued to gain momentum in the country.

At the Fourways Life Hospital in Johannesburg, people queued to get their samples taken for examination.

Inside, health workers performed nose swabs.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday announced a tightening of restrictions, ordering a ban on gatherings and alcohol sales.

Authorities have said the Delta variant which was first identified in India is responsible for most of the new cases. The new wave comes on the backdrop of a vaccination campaign which has been criticized as too slow.

Around 2.7 million people have been immunised since February, but Ramaphosa said the innoculation exercise has gained momentum.

South Africa is the continent worst-hit country, having posted over 1.9 million cases.

In a bid to revive the economy, businesses were spared by the new measures. The economy of Africa's most industrialised country slumped by seven percent in 2020 compared to the previous year.

Ramaphosa also banned non-essential travel to and from the province of Gauteng - South Africa's economic and industrial heartland.

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