South Africa COVID cases over one million

South Africa's Health Ministry confirmed it had reached more than one million cases of coronavirus infections on Sunday (December 28).

It came just days after the country - the worst-hit in Africa - reported a new faster spreading variant of the virus.

Several hospitals have reported wards overflowing with patients, while many health workers have cancelled vacations to tackle a huge influx of patients.

The new variant is referred to as 501.V2.

Scientists tracking it say it appears to be focused in the south and southeast of the country.

They also said it had dominated findings from samples collected since October.

Local media reported authorities met on Sunday (December 27) to decide if a tighter lockdown was needed or stricter rules on public movement.

A point of concern is that it took just nine days for South Africa to go from 900,000 reported cases up to one million.

As of Sunday, 26,735 had been reported to have died from the virus.