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President Ramaphosa to ban alcohol sales in South Africa amid rising infections

South Africa has announced a ban on alcohol sales after deaths resulting from coronavirus increased to more than 4,000.

The South African government introduced new restrictions to help contain and manage the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

President Cyril Ramaphosa who said this in a public address said, he acknowledged people who had taken action to curb the spread of the disease adding that, there would be some who may act without any responsibility to respect and protect each other from contracting the disease.

The President said, “There are a number of people who have taken to organizing parties, who have drinking sprees and some who walk around crowded spaces without wearing masks”.

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President Cyril Ramaphosa said the alcohol ban would be South Africa’s second ban this year, and that would take the pressure off the national healthcare system.

In addition to the ban on alcohol sales, a night-time curfew will also be in place from today, Monday, July 13, 2020, and the wearing of masks outdoors is now compulsory.

According to President Ramaphosa, the new measures were being introduced to help the country to weather the storm of coronavirus, and a state of emergency would be extended until 15 August. The night-time ban would be in place from 21:00 to 04:00.

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The government has also made 28,000 hospital beds available for Covid-19 patients. But President Ramaphosa said the country still faced a “serious” shortage of more than 12,000 healthcare workers, including nurses, doctors and physiotherapists.

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The alcohol ban comes just weeks after another three-month ban was lifted in an effort to prevent drunken fighting, cut domestic violence and eliminate weekend binge-drinking prevalent across South Africa.

Doctors and police say the previous ban contributed to a sharp drop in emergency admissions to hospital but the country’s brewers and winemakers complained they were being driven out of business.

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South Africa remains the hardest-hit country on the African continent. Earlier this week, they recorded the highest-ever single-day increase in cases.

Deaths resulting from coronavirus have also risen to more than 4,000, and government projections estimate this could rise to 50,000 by the end of the year. It comes as total infections exceed a quarter of a million.

Nearly half of them were in Gauteng, a province that has become the outbreak epicentre of coronavirus case in the country.

By Agnes Melissa Yovo |

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