A month after reinstating the booze ban — in an attempt to reduce pressure on hospitals facing a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic — President Cyril Ramaphosa announced last Monday that regulations would be eased.
Since then, metro police and paramedics in greater Durban, which is regarded as a Covid-19 hotspot, have had their hands full. Currently, KwaZulu-Natal has more than 40,000 active Covid-19 cases, by far the most across SA. The Western Cape has 11,200 active cases, and Gauteng 7,600.
“There has been an increase in everything, including domestic violence. Loud music disturbance complaints are also on the rise and partying at residences,” said Sewpersad.
Garrith Jamieson of Advanced Life Support paramedics said they have experienced more road accidents since the ban was lifted.
“As Covid numbers are decreasing, alcohol-related injuries are now increasing and this will definitely put pressure on hospitals,” he said.
Abdool Karim explained why restrictions were required in government's response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The first is that alcohol-related medical conditions like pancreatitis, motor vehicle accidents and interpersonal violence ... they use the same medical facilities in the hospital that we need for Covid. They use the emergency room, the casualty department, the theatres, the ICUs and the high care, and the oxygen — all the same things that the Covid patients need.