South Africa to lift ban on alcohol sales from June

From Agtencies,

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday said a controversial ban on the sale of alcohol would be lifted for home consumption when the country moves into level three of a five-tier coronavirus lockdown next month.

At least 40,000 people could die from coronavirus in South Africa by the end of the year, according to projections made by a group of academics and health experts warning the government.

The country had implemented one of the world’s most stringent lockdowns after recording its first coronavirus-related death in March. The South African government banned the sale of tobacco and alcohol as part of a broad lockdown, in addition, the regulations banned jogging and dog walking, and shuttered parks.

Alcohol would be sold for home consumption only under strict conditions on specified days and for limited hours. The sale of tobacco products will remain prohibited in alert Level-3 due to the health risks associated with smoking.

The booze ban was meant to prevent a spike in violence and reduce pressure on emergency wards as hospitals geared up to face a virus that has infected at least 22,583 people across the country and killed 429, according to Johns Hopkins.

Home consumption

Alcohol would be sold for “home consumption only” under strict conditions on specified days and for limited hours, Ramaphosa announced in an address to the nation.

“The sale of tobacco products will remain prohibited in alert Level-3 due to the health risks associated with smoking,” he added.

A government minister, Ms. Dlamini-Zuma, a doctor who served as health minister in the 1990s and is now cooperative governance minister, said that besides the effects itself on the person’s lungs, there were concerns that smoking could promote coronavirus infection.

The way sometimes tobacco “is shared does not allow for social distancing,” she added, but actually “encourages the spread of the virus”

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