More than half of Angola's doctors will indefinitely continue a national strike over pay and conditions as the coronavirus pandemic strains the African nation's depleted public health services.
Angola resorted to asking China and Cuba for help to fight the first COVID-19 wave last year, with more than 250 Cuban doctors arriving. According to 2020 figures, Angola has 5,200 doctors.
The country's national doctors' trade union on Friday said 3,000 of its members would "continue the national doctors' strike in all public health units" after the industrial action began at the start of the week.
The union is demanding a pay rise for doctors and an increase in benefits for wardens and those on on-call duty.
Only seriously ill patients will be treated in emergency care, where staffing is at half the normal level, it added.
The union has given President Joao Lourenco's government a 30-day ultimatum and negotiations have continued since the start of December.
Resource-rich Angola, a large central African country with 33 million inhabitants, struggles with high poverty rates despite its oil wealth and its annual economic output plummeted at the start of 2021.
Angola has recorded almost 65,400 coronavirus cases and more than 1,700 deaths.