South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a series of new COVID-19 restrictions on Monday, including the closure of bars and the re-imposition of alcohol sales bans.
Medical experts warn that the country’s health system is in danger of being overwhelmed due to the increase in coronavirus cases and the need for urgent care in alcohol-related incidents. A new, more contagious strain of the coronavirus was recently discovered in South Africa, leading many countries to restrict or ban travel to and from the country.
According to the Associated Press, after South Africa banned alcohol sales in April and May, the number of trauma cases in hospitals dropped by 60%, and when the prohibition was lifted, this number began to rise.
Angelique Coetzee, president of the South African Medical Association, told the Associated Press: “In order to reduce the pressure on the system during this time of year, we only have streamlined staff, especially in the public and private sectors. We require stricter social gatherings. limits.”
The Associated Press pointed out that South Africa’s alcohol industry is one of the hardest hit, and many alcohol traders have called on the government to try to avoid a complete ban on liquor sales.
The Associated Press reported that in addition to banning alcohol sales, the new restrictions also include closing all beaches and public swimming pools in infectious hotspots and extending the curfew.Now residents must go home from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Ramaphosa said that masks must now be worn in public places. Those arrested in violation of the regulations will be fined or even criminally charged, which may lead to imprisonment.
South Africa surpassed 1 million COVID-19 cases on Sunday, and more than 26,000 people have been confirmed to have died from the virus to date.