KZN premier praises booze ban as trauma cases drop
DURBAN - KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala has commended President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to reinstate the ban on alcohol sales as part of South Africa's coronavirus lockdown measures, saying the number of medical trauma cases has dropped.
On July 12, in a televised national address, Ramaphosa announced that the ban on alcohol sales would be reintroduced with immediate effect because since it was relaxed there had been a spike in trauma cases arriving at hospitals.
According to the president, these hospital resources would be better utilised for treating coronavirus patients.
During his weekly Covid-19 provincial update on Sunday, Zikalala said: “We are already starting to see some signs of the easing of pressure on our trauma, accident and emergency units in hospitals, as well as the mortuary admissions of people who died of violent causes.”
“We expect a further reduction in this regard the longer the ban continues,” he added.
According to Zikalala, the number of trauma incidents had dropped by more than 20% since the reinstatement of the ban.
“From the 6th to the 12th of July we had 155 trauma cases. But one week since the reintroduction of the ban on alcohol, from the 13th to the 18th (of July) we only had 120 trauma cases,” said the premier.
“We have always maintained that alcohol is a contributing factor in murders, attempted murders, assaults, rapes and domestic violence. We have seen a reduction in these crimes since the police in the province started enforcing the ban on the sale and distribution of alcohol,” he added.
The premier further announced that a total of 12 health workers had died of Covid-19 in the province.
As of Sunday, the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the province is 43,215, or 11.7% of the national toll.
Of the 5,033 Covid-19-related deaths in South Africa, 416 were reported in KwaZulu-Natal.