The ban on alcohol and tobacco will remain in place for the duration of lockdown. The South African Government announced the decision announced on Wednesday [July 22]. This news has delivered a heavy blow to the restaurant, wine-making and beer-brewing industries.

“The ban on the sale of alcohol and cigarette will remain in place throughout the lockdown period. The purpose is to save lives and protect the health and well-being of our people,” Government said in a Tweet.

According to Government, patients who suffer from alcohol-related injuries often place a strain on medical resources for extended periods.

“For example, 2% of stab-related admissions (a common trauma associated with alcohol abuse) require admission to the ICU for an average of five days,” it said. “The impact of blunt force trauma is greater. Of 72% requiring hospital admission, 25% are admitted to the ICU for an average of nine days.”

The news has been met with opposition, and many are asking why there is no explanation for the ban on cigarettes.

“So basically now there is no review, no compromise no listening to courts, it states ‘throughout the lockdown’ meaning that even if a court tells them to desist, they will keep these bans in place, this is wrong means they can ban and keep anything in place,” one social media user said.

“Where’s your recent scientific proof justifying the cigarette ban? We ALL still smoking, and no smoker has taken up Covid-19 beds and/or trauma room space and/or needed Doctors’ attention due to smoking. Is that simple enough for you understand,” another said.

“Imagine if we had an effective law enforcement system that could curb drunk driving, GBV, assault and attempted murder. Imagine if we had leaders with integrity that would be excellent examples to citizens… We have none of that. Where’s the “Science” behind the cigarette ban?” commented another.

Picture: Pixabay

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Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.