COVID-19: South Africa suspends alcohol sales, dispensing and distribution

Our Pretoria reporter│ 12 July 2020 │ 21:00

In an address to the nation at 20:00, Sunday 12 July, President Cyril Ramaphosa announces a suspension of alcohol sales, dispensing and distribution in South Africa. This came as part of the risk-adjusted strategy to manage the spread of COVID-19.

The suspension was widely anticipated as the rate of infection continues to grow across the country. According to Mr Ramaphosa, 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.

“As we head towards the peak of infections, it is vital that we do not burden our clinics and hospitals with alcohol-related injuries that could have been avoided,” the president stated.

He reveals that scientists and other scenario planners have presented models that project that South Africa may have between 40,000 and 50,000 deaths before the end of this year.

“To conserve hospital capacity, the sale, dispensing and distribution of alcohol will be suspended with immediate effect,” the president affirms.

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