The Gauteng Health Department says its hospital admissions statistics show a link between alcohol abuse and trauma cases.
The department says the hospital admissions for emergency cases went down between April and June this year compared to the same period last year.
It has attributed this to the national lockdown regulations which saw government imposing a ban on the sale of alcohol.
Three Tshwane Metro police were killed at the weekend after the car they were driving in collided head-on with a vehicle driven by a suspected drunk motorist.
Gauteng Health Department spokesperson Kwara Kekana says, “The acting MEC for Health Jacob Mamabolo says the correlation between alcohol consumption and the number of emergency cases presenting at public hospitals is undeniable and this puts pressure on the Gauteng health system.”
“The direct effect on trauma cases is that a bed that could have been used for other services including COVID-19 is now taken by alcohol-related cases,” adds Kekana.
Meanwhile, the Association for Alcohol Responsibility and Education (AWARE) is urging those who consume liquor to realise that alcohol abuse has grave consequences.
The Chief Executive Officer of AWARE Ingrid Louw says binge drinking and its consequences could result in stricter lockdown regulations.
“We want to encourage the public to adopt a responsible lifestyle. In the current context of COVID-19, people need to practice social distancing. You need to wear a mask, observe the 10pm curfew.”
“Especially with the lifting of the alcohol ban, we don’t want people to engage in binge drinking, drinking, and driving. We want to ask traders to trade responsibly. When you drink and drive, that can result in road fatalities. It can also lead to aggressive behavior.”
South Africans queue to purchase alcohol after the lifting of the ban :
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