- The issue concerning the ban on alcohol has caused waves in South Africa
- The government claims that drinking could weaken the immune system amid the coronavirus pandemic
- Briefly.co.za explores this claim to determine if there is any truth behind it
Citizens have been up in arms over the restrictions concerning the sale of alcohol during the lockdown.
The government claims that drinking weakens the immune system and impairs the body's ability to fight disease, a concern in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
But is this claim true? Numerous studies have discovered that drinking, especially binge drinking, does indeed damage the immune system and the respiratory system's defence against infection.
Africa Check reports that, while 70% of South Africans are non-drinkers, nearly 60% of those who do partake, drink heavily.
The immune system is an internal defence against infection, a complex system using numerous mechanisms to combat disease.
When a foreign body is detected the immune system releases chemicals and cells in an attempt to destroy the cells.
Alcohol has long been proven to slow both this response to disease as well as the recovery rates and the coronavirus is no exception.
The majority of research centred around alcohol abuse but the British Journal of Nutrition says that regular consumption of small amounts of liquor is not dangerous in otherwise healthy adults.
While many South Africans do not partake in drinking (69%), those who do tend to overdo it with 59% of drinkers admitting to binge drinking.
Briefly.co.za reported that President Cyril Ramaphosa may well be contemplating a relaxation of the regulation after the Gauteng Liquor Forum took the government to court over the ban.
The decision may not have been a popular one, but the science behind it has sound backing.
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