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Experts weigh in on Ramaphosa’s alcohol ban and 100% taxi load  

Experts weigh in on Ramaphosa's alcohol ban and 100% taxi load  
Experts weigh in on Ramaphosa’s alcohol ban and 100% taxi load

On Sunday, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a ban on alcohol sales while also allowing taxis to load 100% capacity – Two experts who also are a part of the Ministerial Advisory Committee have slammed these latest steps to undertake and reduce the spread of the Covid-19 virus – The experts questioned why the alcohol industry had to be closed while increasing risk with full taxi loads

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced an instantaneous ban on the sale and distribution of alcohol. The resident also introduced a 9pm to 4am curfew that kicked in on Monday night. Ramaphosa announced that these measures were put in situ so as to undertake and curb the spread of Covid-10 infections, which are soaring. Ramaphosa said alcohol-linked cases were straining the healthcare system.

The announcement on the reinstatement of the ban on booze took everyone all of sudden , including the alcohol industry, which says they were blindsided. While banning alcohol, Ramaphosa also announced that taxis would now be allowed to ferry passengers at 100% for brief trips and 70% for long-distance trips. Dr Angelique Coetzee and Professor Francois Venter said the govt must come up with better solutions aside from simply banning alcohol.

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The experts, who also serve on the Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC), said government must come up with a more comprehensive plan on the way to manage the rise in Covid-19 infections. News24 reported that Dr Angelique Coetzee, the president of the South African Medical Association (SAMA) and member of the MAC, said the ban on alcohol would impact workers’ livelihoods and a far better decide to affect the virus was needed. She added that the country features a problem of alcoholic abuse and this contributed to the increase in alcohol-linked trauma cases in hospitals. Coetzee said the govt needed to return up with an answer that was “less harsh”.

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She questioned why the govt could risk loading 100% on taxis but not risk arising with a far better solution than closing the alcohol industry. Professor Francois Venter, the top of the Ezintsha Health Unit at the University of the Witwatersrand and member of the MAC, said there have been more creative ways to alleviate some pressure on the healthcare system aside from an alcohol ban.

Venter said while an argument might be made to ban alcohol in hard-hit provinces like Gauteng, “there is not any reason” the ban should apply in areas which didn’t have high Covid-19 infections as healthcare systems in these areas were under less stress. Meanwhile, Icom360news online reported that Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has defended the ban on alcohol.

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Dlamini-Zuma said the ban on booze wasn’t to limit individual rights but rather to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Dlamini-Zuma claimed that there was evidence to support their decision, but she simply wasn’t in possession of it at that moment. She said that alcohol brings people together and when this happens, there’s no social distancing or sanitising. She added that they need received many letters from doctors who are complaining about the strain on the healthcare system due to alcohol cases. Enjoyed reading our story?

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