Hospital trauma units have seen an increase of almost double the cases since Monday, June 1, the first day alcohol was allowed to be sold again under lockdown regulations. The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) are now calling on President Cyril Ramaphosa to reinstate the ban.

In Johannesburg, the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital has reported almost double the amount of cases in their trauma unit, a mere 24 hours after the ban was lifted. The majority of these cases were alcohol-related.

“Within 24 hours of alcohol being allowed, the number of cases in the trauma unit almost doubled. The majority of the patients were drunk, a few patients had gunshot wounds and injuries from general assaults,” the hospital’s CEO Nkele Lesia told EWN.

While many opposed the ban on the sale of alcohol, hospital representatives praised the decision. In April, Head of Groote Schuur Hospital’s Trauma Unit Andrew Nicol noted that there was a two-thirds decrease in trauma admissions since the lockdown officially began on Thursday, March 26.

The South African Medical Association (SAMA) believe the lifting of the prohibition on alcohol will now place even more pressure on the healthcare system.

The EFF are calling on President Cyril Ramaphosa to reverse the lifting.

“South Africa’s healthcare system is already overburdened; hospitals are overcrowded with a shortage of medical resources and dilapidated infrastructure,” the EFF said in a statement. “As such, should the government continue to permit the sale of alcohol, then they will be condeming South Africans and all her people to untimely deaths.”

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