CoCT: Uptick in alcohol-related trauma cases causing strain on health system

Over the past week, more than 80% of arrests made by enforcement agencies were for drunk driving.

FILE: Western Cape Premier Alan Winde (right) and provincial head of Health Dr Keith Cloete (centre) help officials wheel out a hospital bed as the CTICC's Hospital of Hope is officially decommissioned on 21 August 2020. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/Eyewitness News.

CAPE TOWN - The City of Cape Town (CoCT) said the uptick in alcohol-related lawlessness placed unnecessary strain on health facilities amid the COVID-19 resurgence.

Over the past week, more than 80% of arrests made by enforcement agencies were for drunk driving.

This sparks concern amid the current rise in coronavirus cases and the fact that the festive season's only just starting.

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The city said what was being observed by enforcement agencies had heightened concern.

Officers arrested 98 motorists, impounded over 200 vehicles, seized over 85 cell phones and served more than 66,000 fines for a range of infringements.

But the majority of arrests were for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Safety and Security Mayco member JP Smith said: “Our medical assist colleagues can attest to the many alcohol-related trauma cases that they deal with on a weekly basis, but particularly on the weekends. With the COVID-19 resurgence, our healthcare system needs all the help it can get.”

ALSO READ: CT authorities urge residents to adhere to regulations amid virus resurgence

Over the last seven days, law enforcement officials seized over 400 units of alcohol and issued more than 100 fines related to drinking in public.

Smith is reiterating his call for the public to adhere to the rules and regulations.

“We, therefore, call on the public to do their bit and adapt their behaviour accordingly and most importantly, to note the difference between alcohol use and alcohol abuse.”

COVID-19 cases in the province have already multiplied in recent days, with more than 6,400 new infections recorded over the last week.

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