“If we see the Covid-19 numbers and the need for hospital beds decrease, we will reconsider lifting the ban on alcohol. We are not at that point yet. ”
This is what Dr. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said during a question-and-answer session on Thursday after visiting Richmond Hospital in Richmond, KwaZulu-Natal. According to him, South Africa is not yet ready to lift the liquor ban. EWN shared a video of this on Twitter.
Mkhize says their decision on the liquor ban is to relieve pressure on the health system. He says the high hospital admission rates due to Covid-19, a possible shortage of hospital beds and a shortage of health workers played a major role in the decision.
“We wanted to eliminate any factors that could put further pressure on the health system and trauma units. Ultimately, the department’s main focus is on looking after the nation’s health. That is why the liquor ban has been introduced. “
Mkhize says according to doctors and trauma specialists, there are far fewer trauma cases at hospitals due to the liquor ban. “Doctors say the liquor ban helps a lot to relieve additional pressure. They already have a lot of hay on their fork with Covid-19 patients pouring in. In the end, it is about those patients’ lives and health, ”says Mkhize.
He says because the country is currently on the brink of the pandemic, he is not sure what the statistics could hold going forward. “We are hopeful. If there are fewer Covid-19 patients and the severe pressure on hospitals is reduced, we can reconsider lifting the ban. For now, we just have to keep everything under control. ”
Mkhize said he could not say much about the tobacco ban because court cases were currently underway.
The government has been criticized over the past month over the renewed ban on alcohol and why it cannot be lifted.