“While Saapa SA is sympathetic to the plight of small operators in particular and their staff and families, we are concerned ‘self-regulation’ by the industry is inevitably subordinated to their economic interests and will therefore always be inadequate, especially in the midst of a pandemic.
“The alcohol industry has not delivered on its pledge to ensure alcohol outlets observe Covid-19 protocols and thereby contribute to the containment of the coronavirus.”
Experts have warned during the course of the pandemic that alcohol-related trauma cases, including stabbings and car crashes, place an additional burden on health workers and facilities when Covid-19 admissions increase in hospitals.
Trauma cases in Eastern Cape hospitals escalated sharply between Christmas Eve and the Day of Goodwill, DispatchLIVE reported.
At Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital, for example, there were 18 cases on December 24. On Christmas Day there were 40 cases in the hospital, 30 of which were stabbings.