Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has defended the return of the lockdown liquor ban. Briefly.co.za explores the latest updates on the Covid-19 pandemic.
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Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has defended his earlier calls to reinstate the lockdown liquor ban.
Briefly.co.za explores this story and other top updates on the Covid-19 pandemic below:
1. Mkhize defends controversial liquor ban
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has defended the government's call to once again implement the lockdown liquor ban.
The minister lamented the high number of trauma patients due to alcohol-related emergencies, many of whom are young citizens.
Mkhize explained that the ban will reduce this pressure on the healthcare system, commenting that:
"Some of the modelling that was done to predict the impact of the alcohol ban and these models demonstrated that the introduction of the suspension of alcohol sales could result in a 20% reduction of trauma and 40% reduction of all alcohol-related trauma by the third week."
The minister reminded citizens of their responsibility for their own actions amid a surge in cases:
"It is a new painful reality that we can only curb this viral infection if we citizens behave. The choice that we have to make as South Africans for the sake of our own selves and our nation."
Briefly.co.za reported that Mkhize had announced that he had approached the National Coronavirus Command Council, asking the task force to consider the reimplementation of the ban ahead of President Cyril Ramaphosa's address.
READ ALSO: Mkhize reveals NCCC is deliberating over the return of liquor ban
2. Expert says government has pushed their luck too far
Professor Francois Venter, the head of the Ezintsha Health Unit at the University of the Witwatersrand, is unimpressed with the government's tightening of lockdown regulations.
The Citizen reported that Venter explained how the state had pushed the nation's patience too far with the ever-changing rules:
“The government has shot itself in the foot repeatedly with irrational advice and what happens then is that it’s very easy for society to opt out and to say, ‘This is nonsense, I’m not going to participate’.”
In Venter's opinion, President Cyril Ramaphosa pushed his luck with his public telling-off:
“I think what I was really disappointed with, was not enough attention to public transport, to the taxi industry. They should have been talking about what they were doing about that and reinforcing the physical distancing, etc, which he did.
"But instead it did feel a bit like a moral admonishment, like your father talking to you, when government really have not held up its end of the social contract – irrational guidelines, inconsistent laws – and for that reason I think people will just shrug their shoulders and say ‘whatever’.”
3. 300 000 Covid-19 infection milestone looms
South Africa is fast approaching 300 000 Covid-19 infections, with Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize providing the nation with another update.
In a statement issued by the Health Ministry, Mkhize reported the latest number of infections:
"As of today, a cumulative total of 287 796 confirmed Covid-19 cases in South Africa have been reported."
The number of fatalities has also seen a steep increase with the minister continuing to say that:
"Regrettably, we report a further 93 Covid-19-related deaths - 6 from KwaZulu- Natal, 11 from Mpumalanga, 16 from the Free State, 37 from Western Cape and 23 from Eastern Cape. This brings the total number of Covid-19-related deaths to 4 172."
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