South Africa’s alcohol ban during lockdown reveals deadly drinking habits
On one side: drinkers who say their rights are being impinged on and bottle shop owners and liquor companies that are going broke. On the other: a public health system that is unburdened by thousands of monthly hospitalizations resulting from accidents and violence attributed to drunkenness.
More than 5,000 fewer admissions to trauma units per week can be attributed to the alcohol ban, according to Charles Parry, director of alcohol research at the South African Medical Research Council. The council’s data also shows a decrease in excess deaths in South Africa, suggesting that the lockdown, with its alcohol ban and decrease in vehicle use, may have saved the lives of more South Africans than the 186 that the coronavirus is confirmed to have killed so far.
“Instead of patching people up with stabbing wounds, nurses can focus on training how to handle covid cases,” Parry said, referencing covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. “Based on our model, at least 15 people who would have otherwise died from alcohol-related traumas …continued .
[Source: Washington Post]