Restrictions on alcohol make no sense, says SAMA

Restrictions on alcohol make no sense, says SAMA

The South African Medical Association (SAMA) says while the level 3 regulations are a step in the right direction, the regulations on the sale of alcohol doesn’t make sense.

GMA Nurse
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The association has been calling on the government to enforce stricter lockdown measures amid the surge in Covid-19 infections.

In the last week, the country has recorded an average of 7500 daily infections and almost 800 Covid-related deaths.

Hospital admissions due to Covid-19 have also jumped 59% over the last two weeks compared to the preceding 14 days.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Tuesday that South Africa would return to level 3 of the lockdown.

Under the new restrictions,the sale of alcohol from retail outlets for off-site consumption will only be permitted between 10am and 6pm from Monday to Thursday.

But SAMA chairperson Dr Angelique Coetzee says restrictions should focus on keeping people at home.

“We noticed that we are moving to level 3 lockdown. We think it is a step in the right direction, but it doesn’t make sense for us to close a place that sells alcohol on Fridays and Saturdays. You can't drink at home but you are allowed to drink at pubs at until 9?

“For us it doesn’t make sense, we need people at home. We don’t want people in a shopping centre or anywhere else, if we can manage to do that for three to four weeks we can get the numbers down but for now, I don’t see that happening. Again keeping the schools open when most teachers are sick, especially in Gauteng, is not helping,” says Coetzee.

Coetzee believes government failed to prepare for the third wave.

“We should have prepared better, we needed to have a lot of doctors and nurses in hospitals, having a lot of beds is not going to help when we don’t have doctors, and again, most healthcare workers are now being used to do vaccinations, putting another strain on the public and private health system.

“No one can say they didn’t know that the third wave was going to happen.”


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