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SAMRC: Ban on sale of liquor could be lifted in 1 to 2 weeks’ time

Two council experts have analysed data, which shows the anticipated pressure on hospital resources due to a surge in COVID-19 infections hasn't materialised at least for now.

Image: 123rf

CAPE TOWN - The South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) said the ban on liquor sales could be lifted in one to two weeks’ time.

Two council experts have analysed data, which shows the anticipated pressure on hospital resources due to a surge in COVID-19 infections hasn't materialised - at least for now.

The medical body said there is enough capacity in most of the country's trauma units.

The SAMRC said it had seen a drop of between 23% - and as much as 83% in trauma cases at various health facilities since July and this was largely thanks to the ban.

The organisation's prof Charles Parry added it was never meant to be a long-term measure.

“Our argument is that we need to start preparing now for lifting the ban and implementing a basket of much more sustainable intervention strategies for when the ban is lifted. Whether that’s in a week or two.”

But Parry suggests when government eventually decides to lift the ban, a number of measures need to be implemented.

These include limiting the amount of alcohol people can purchase: “At level 3, we should seriously be considering limiting the size of containers. For example, for beers and ciders, to no more than 500ml, for wine and spirits, to be 750ml.”

He said these recommendations have been put forward to government.

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