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Mkhize: Impact of alcohol sales on healthcare system reported to NCC

Last week, Gauteng Premier David Makhura hinted at the possibility of further regulations on the sale and consumption of alcohol in the province because of the pressure it had placed on the healthcare system.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize (L) arriving at the Tshwane District Hospital on 10 July 2020 to assess preparedness for the surge in COVID-19 infections in Gauteng. Picture: @DrZweliMkhize/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said the issue of alcohol and the pressure its placed on the healthcare system has been reported to the national coronavirus command council (NCC).

Mkhize made the comments at Steve Biko Academic Hospital after his tour of the Tshwane District Hospital earlier on Friday.

The facility will accommodate COVID-19 patients.

Gauteng has become the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

Mkhize said the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Gauteng did not come as surprise and they expected the province to be the epicentre due to its population size.

Last week, Gauteng Premier David Makhura hinted at the possibility of further regulations on the sale and consumption of alcohol in the province because of the pressure it had placed on the healthcare system.

Now Mkhize said they had written to the national command council on this issue.

“This has often at times resulted to 40% to 50% of the number of people who are in the casualty wards and some of the space that we need in the theatres and also the overloading of staff.”

The minister said this was a persistent problem across the country.

Mkhize also reiterated the need for more stringent restrictions in COVID-19 hotspots such as Gauteng, the Eastern and Western Cape as well as KwaZulu-Natal.

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