The National Coronavirus Command Council is considering the impact of the lifting of the ban on the sale of alcohol. According to alert-level three regulations alcohol can now be sold from Monday to Thursday from 9am to 5pm.
However, it will not be sold on Fridays, weekends and public holidays. The Health Department has asked the council to consider the impact of alcohol-related trauma cases on the health system.
Speaking during a visit to the Tshwane District Hospital, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said his department had put forward the issue due to the influx of trauma patients since the lifting of the alcohol sales ban on the first of this month.
“When there was a lockdown the casualty departments did not have a lot of pressure. There were more beds which were open, there was less pressure in the ICUs and so on. We have now been receiving in this hospital and many other hospitals lots of complaints about the fact that the alcohol-related trauma is causing a lot of pressure so we have actually done studies that have shown that the lifting of the lockdown has actually resulted in sometimes 40-50% increase,” says Mkhize.
President issues stern warning against the abuse of alcohol
A week ago on the 100th day of the national lockdown, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the easing of lockdown regulations against restaurants and personal beauty care services including salons.
However, he issued a stern warning against the abuse of alcohol which he said contributes to criminality, especially gender-based violence.
Although President Ramaphosa is insisting that the national lockdown was necessary to curb the spread of the coronavirus, he admits that a continued economic shutdown is not sustainable.
Beauty salons had lodged a court challenge after not being allowed to operate for over 80 days prompting the President to lift the lockdown regulations against a number of businesses.
The President also stressed that all these businesses will be opened under strict conditions adhering to the lockdown regulations.
Below is the video of President Ramaphosa addressing the nation: