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About that booze ban: Massive outpouring of support & anger

13 July 2020 - 09:44 By Unathi Nkanjeni

The immediate reinforcement of the ban on the sale and distribution of alcohol has been met with mixed reactions since its announcement on Sunday night.

In his address to the nation, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the ban was aimed at reducing the volume of alcohol-related trauma and injured patients so hospitals would have more beds open to treat Covid-19 patients.

Ramaphosa said since the sale and distribution of alcohol was reintroduced in June, hospitals have seen a spike in admissions in their trauma and emergency wards.

According to Ramaphosa, most of these and other trauma injuries occur at night.

“As we head towards the peak of infections, it is vital that we do not burden our clinics and hospitals with alcohol-related injuries that could have been avoided,” said Ramaphosa.

“This is a fight to save every life, and we need to save every bed. We have therefore decided that in order to conserve hospital capacity, the sale, dispensing and distribution of alcohol will be suspended with immediate effect.

“There is now clear evidence that the resumption of alcohol sales has resulted in substantial pressure being put on hospitals, including trauma and intensive care units, due to motor vehicle accidents, violence and related trauma,” he said.

A gazette signed by cooperative governance and traditional affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma confirmed the ban is officially in place.

Ramaphosa also lambasted those who have continued to host social gatherings, including parties, overcrowded funerals and “after tears” events.

“In the midst of our national effort to fight against this virus, there are a number of people who have taken to organising parties, who have drinking sprees, and some who walk around in crowded spaces without masks,” said Ramaphosa.

To date, SA has 276,242 Covid-19 confirmed cases and 4,079 deaths.

“We are now recording more than 12,000 new cases every day. That is the equivalent of 500 new infections every hour," the president said.

On social media, many expressed their opinions about the ban. Some are for it, while others expressed different views.

Here is a snapshot of some of the reactions.

It's a good move.

Banning booze won't help