- Some ministers have called for the return of the liquor ban amid the Covid-19 lockdown
- The current Level 3 restrictions allow for the purchase of alcohol and numerous politicians have called for the government to reconsider
- Briefly.co.za explores whether or not the ban returning is a move with scientific backing
Numerous politicians have called for the national government to reconsider the return of the alcohol ban during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Briefly.co.za reported that both Health Minister Zweli Mkhize and Police Minister Bheki Cele had echoed similar sentiments.
Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane has gone as far as petitioning the national government to reinstate the ban in his province.
The return of liquor has seen an increase in crime and hospitals have recorded a drastic spike in alcohol-related casualties, a serious issue with the virus putting pressure on the health care system.
Africa Check reports that drinking excessive amounts of alcohol has been proven to damage the immune system and lowers the respiratory system's defences against infection.
While 70% of South Africans are indeed non-drinkers, 60% of citizens who do drink, drink heavily.
This places drinkers at a far higher risk of experiencing more severe Covid-19 symptoms if they do indeed contract the disease.
While there is evidence that consuming moderate amounts of alcohol is harmless under specific circumstances, South Africa's inclination towards binge drinking is a concern.
Mkhize says that the government may need to consider the possibility of implementing the ban once more.
The minister confirmed that the relaxation had put pressure on the nation's hospital at a crucial moment in the response against the virus:
"We have to consult provinces, governments and various stakeholders so this doesn't become a very simple matter. However, there may well even arise a situation where we might feel the numbers of beds are compromised by the fact that there is too much of trauma. The records that we have, show that there has been a lot of relief when the alcohol was not being easily available."
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