family meeting"". Picture: Bongani Mbatha /African News Agency (ANA)
family meeting"". Picture: Bongani Mbatha /African News Agency (ANA)

SA Medical Association, Denosa welcome ban on alcohol and gatherings

By Rudolph Nkgadima Time of article published Dec 29, 2020

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Cape Town - The South African Medical Association and nursing union Denosa have welcomed the ban on alcohol and gatherings, saying this would result in fewer trauma cases and could free up much needed bed space for Covid-19 patients.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday night re-instituted the alcohol ban and instituted a stricter curfew between 9pm and 6am in a bid to contain the spread of the virus.

South Africa has a new variant of the virus which was discovered earlier in December. It was first discovered in the Eastern Cape but it is not known where it came from.

SAMA chairperson Dr Angelique Coetzee told IOL that although a total alcohol ban is not what they asked for, they welcome the move to adjusted level 3 in the country, especially moves around social gatherings.

“We think that the banning of social gatherings will have a much better effect on trying to curb the steep incline of the trajectory.

“We hope the ban on alcohol will relieve the pressure on the casualties. At least for now it will assist greatly with the current high load of traumas that are being seen at certain casualties in hospitals.

“As a country we urgently need to address the unacceptable high level of alcohol abuse happening in our country,” she said.

Nursing union, the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) also welcomed Ramaphosa's revised level 3 lockdown.

“We are particularly happy with the prohibition of sale of alcohol at retailers and for indoor consumption, as incidents out of these have led to a sizeable increase in emergencies at our health-care facilities. This decision will result in fewer trauma cases and thus open up bed space for Covid-19 related admissions,” said the Union.

Coetzee also said they were worried about the criminalisation of not wearing a mask and they believe that there are better ways of addressing this.

“Our current police system, enforcement system and our jails are really up to task. Going forward we fear that they might be also under severe stress and pressure,” she said.

Meanwhile, the DA says lockdowns and bans are not a sustainable solution.

“They may offer extremely short-term efficacy, but they do very deep and long-lasting damage to the economy and to the livelihoods of our citizens,” said the party.

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