- The Department of Health is backing a possible reimplementation of the liquor ban
- Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has confirmed that the National Coronavirus Command Council will be deliberating on the issue
- Mkhize suggested that the lifting of the ban had seen an increase in the number of patients requiring hospitalisation
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has confirmed on Friday that the department has submitted concerns over alcohol sales to the National Coronavirus Command Council.
Mkhize has explained that the ban being lifted has created an influx of trauma patients at a time where every hospital bed is crucial in the battle against Covid-19.
Commenting on the situation during a visit to the Tshwane District Hospital, Mkhize explained that health facilities have submitted complaints about the number of patients that have been 'overwhelming' trauma units since the ban was first lifted:
“Studies have shown that the lifting of the lockdown and alcohol restrictions has actually led to a 40-50% increase in the number of people who are in the casualty wards and the spaces that we need in the theatres. It is actually overloading the staff.”
The effort to reinstate the ban has now been passed on to the NCCC, where it will be considered:
“We have tabled this issue as something that the National Command Council must consider. The meetings are sitting and going through the matter. They will be able to guide us as to how we can best deal with this particular issue.”
In other news, Briefly.co.za reported that Gauteng Premier David Makhura had tested positive for the virus on Friday morning.
In a statement issued by the provincial government, Makhura confirmed that he had started feeling unwell earlier in the week:
"On Wednesday I experienced some mild symptoms. On Thursday, I decided to self-quarantine and test for Covid-19 as a precautionary measure. Today, Friday, I received my test results confirming that I have tested positive for Covid-19. I am now in self-isolation in line with the WHO protocols and will work from home over the next 14 days whilst monitoring my health."
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