South Africa: Eastern Cape Trauma Cases Down As Alcohol Ban Kicks in - but the Drinking Continues

analysis

The suspension of alcohol sales during the national lockdown, aimed at curbing the spread of Coronavirus infections, has seen an almost immediate and significant drop in trauma cases for the province's ambulance services. However, community leaders say that while pubs and shebeens might be closed, the market for illegal alcohol is thriving.

Emergency calls to state ambulances in the Eastern Cape have dropped by 40% since the lockdown started on 27 March, but community leaders insist the ban on the sale of alcohol has not stopped people from buying or drinking.

President Cyril Ramaphosa declared the coronavirus pandemic a national disaster earlier in March and ordered the country into lockdown. As part of the disaster regulations, the government banned all alcohol sales.

Eastern Cape Health Department spokesman, Sizwe Kupelo, said since lockdown started, calls to emergency medical services across the province had dropped by 40%.

According to 2019 statistics from Nelson Mandela Bay's metro, ambulances attended to 24 motor vehicle accidents and 42 shootings over last year's Easter weekend.

"The positive thing about the current lockdown is that there has been a reduction in trauma cases and deaths," Kupelo said. "The emergency medical services, hospital casualty departments and forensic facilities...

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: Daily Maverick

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.