Alcohol ban to be reintroduced in South Africa

With the growing increase in the number of coronavirus cases in South Africa, the president of the country, Cyril Ramaphosa, reintroduced alcohol ban. 

The move to prohibit alcohol came after an initial three month ban was lifted. The initial ban was implemented to reduce the number of emergency cases which is usually caused by drunkenness and domestic violence.

Added to this, the president announced that the use of face mask is now compulsory in public areas as the number of coronavirus infected persons has increased to 276,000. According to the president, the rate of infectious persons in the country currently sits at 12,000 per day. However, even with the surge, South Africa is among the states with the lowest mortality rate in the world. The country's mortality rate is 1.5% when compared to the global average of 4.4%. Since the outbreak of the virus in March, at least 4,079 South Africans have lost their lives to the virus. 

In response to the surge in the number of affected persons, the government has provided additional 28,000 beds for infected persons. However, Ramaphosa said the country is still faced with a “serious shortage of more than 12,000 health workers, mostly nurses, doctors, and physiotherapists."

“The coronavirus storm is far fiercer and more destructive than any we have known before,” Ramaphosa said. “It is stretching our resources and our resolve to their limits.”

The president lambasted some of the persons who have been paying deaf ears to the warnings on social distancing. He announced that starting from Monday, there would be curfew from 9 pm to 4 am, coupled with a national state emergency extended to August 15.

“There is now clear evidence that the resumption of alcohol sales has resulted in substantial pressure being put on hospitals, including trauma and ICU units, due to motor vehicle accidents, violence, and related trauma,” Ramaphosa said.

“Scientists and other scenario planners have presented us with models that project that South Africa may have between 40,000 and 50,000 deaths before the end of this year,” he said.

“We must make it our single most important task to prove these projections wrong,” he added. 

The president stated that restrictions on lockdown would gradually be eased. As of now, parks have been opened for exercise but not for any other social gatherings. Visiting families and relatives are also not allowed. 

The president implores all South Africans to join hands together and work against the continuous spread of the virus. He commended all those who have been adhering to all the measures put in place to reduce the spread of the virus and enjoin everybody to adhere to the measures.

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