Coronavirus: alcohol ban relieves Soweto hospital

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“A first”: undoubtedly largely thanks to the ban on alcohol, the huge Soweto hospital did not receive any trauma emergency patients during the transition to the new year, in a country struggling to fight against the second wave of COVID-19.

“For the first time in the history of the hospital, trauma emergencies did not receive any patient on New Year’s Day,” said the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital on its Facebook page on Friday, who accompanied his empty bed pictures message.

With a capacity of 3,200 beds, the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, a public establishment previously reserved for black patients during apartheid, is located in the Soweto district of Johannesburg, one of the hotbeds of contamination in South Africa. It is one of the largest hospitals on the continent.

Road accidents, violence, emergency services generally experience a peak in attendance on New Year’s Eve, particularly linked to heavy alcohol consumption.

But since Monday evening, the sale of alcohol has again been banned in South Africa. This restriction, set for now until January 15, aims to reduce admissions generated by excess consumption and relieve the country’s already breathless hospitals, overwhelmed for months by the influx of COVID patients. -19.

“This is proof that those who abuse alcohol weigh heavily on our health system”, reacted on Twitter an official of the province of Gauteng, Panyaza Lesufi.

The curfew established between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. and the closing of bars and restaurants from 8 p.m. also undoubtedly played a role.

A few hours earlier, the health authorities of the African country far more affected by the virus announced a new record with 18,000 cases recorded in 24 hours.

The country has a total of 1,057,161 people infected and 28,469 deaths, of which 436 occurred in the last 24 hours.

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