Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane will hold a virtual meeting with the provincial association representing liquor traders and consumers to discuss the decision of the Provincial Coronavirus Command Council to request national government to reinstate the prohibition of trade and distribution of alcohol in the province from now until Alert Level- 1. The association requested the meeting.
Mabuyane is adamant he will lobby the Command Council to re-instate the ban on alcohol sales in the province. Earlier, Premier of the neighbouring Western Cape, Alan Winde, also expressed concern about the impact of alcohol sales.
Mabuyane has been criticized by liquor traders for failing to consult with them on the matter.
He says incidents of trauma at hospitals have spiked after the ban alcohol sales was lifted. Mabuyane says the resumption of alcohol sales has put a strain on health care systems in the province.
“ Our enemy is COVID- 19. We want everyone to be sober, we can’t be at war when we are not sober and we don’t have police to monitor everyone who consumes liquor out there. We can’t give ourselves unnecessary pressure. Our concern is about hospitals…liquor will remain there, yes it will take some time to go back and it’s currently sluggish. We can’t sacrifice lives because we want short term happiness because of liquor.”
Mabuyane visits Life Healthcare hospitals
Meanwhile, Mabuyane is leading a team of government officials at Life Healthcare private hospitals around East London to check compliance with COVID-19 regulations. This follows complaints from both patients and staff at these facilities. It is alleged that staff members are complaining about bad treatment from the facilities’ management. Over the weekend there were media reports on some COVID-19 patients being mixed with other patients, at the casualty ward, due to shortage of beds at Life St Dominic’s hospital. Mabuyane says the complaints are worrying.
“The private sector is very key. It has been serving our people very well. If there is something that is not going right we’ve got to confront them. There have been a lot of complaints, people raising issues, all the sad stories we’ve heard about Mthatha, those are disgusting. We can’t have the leadership of government to visit and people disappear and the CEO runs away.”
The Eastern Cape currently has 6760 coronavirus cases.
Below are the latest statistics in SA :
Authors : Lubabalo Dada and Abongile Jantjies
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