The Chairperson of parliament’s portfolio committee on health Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo has urged President Cyril Ramaphosa to ignore calls from some liquor retailers that regulations banning the sale of alcohol be relaxed.
Dhlomo says the Ramaphosa administration’s move to halt liquor sales is designed to protect people from transmitting the virus. He says some people over-indulge and are not aware that they may be at risk of contracting the virus.
“A person who is under the influence of alcohol has a poor sense of judgement for the environment, space and time. This lockdown period does not need people who have poor sense of judgement,” says Dhlomo.
South Africa’s coronavirus infection rate has slowed since the imposition of the lockdown – which has been extended to the end of April.
South Africa has recorded a 7% increase in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases on Sunday, with 145 more people testing positive for the virus. This brings the total number of people who’ve been confirmed as having contracted the virus to 2 173 and 25 deaths. At least 410 people have recovered from COVID 19.
Dhlomo urges President Ramaphosa not to lift the ban on the sale of alcohol:
Dr Dhlomo says the committee commends President Ramaphosa’s call which includes banning the sale of alcohol during the lockdown period.
“The President should not give those who want to sell alcohol space to do so as that might predispose them to being exposed to the pandemic unaware,” says Dr Dhlomo.
“The lockdown is a safe way that the President has called for where the sale of alcohol is not allowed. We urge the President not to heed the call of selling alcohol during the national state of disaster,” added Dr Dhlomo.
Furthermore, Dr Dhlomo believes this is for the good of the country, for the control of the coronavirus and the good for the control of any social ill.
The Gauteng Liquor Forum has given President Ramaphosa until Tuesday to lift the ban or face a court challenge. Many of the political parties say this seeks to undermine government’s efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 in South Africa.
Below is a graph of the economic measures implemented for the extended lockdown:
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