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As SA remains on level 3 WC's health boss say booze ban is working

12 January 2021 8:35 AM

Dr Saadiq Kariem says there was a 65% drop in trauma unit admissions on New Year's Day 2021 compared to the same time last year.

Close to 190,000 new coronavirus infections have been recorded in South Africa since the start of the new year.

President Cyril Ramaphosa opened his latest 'family meeting' with the grim statistics on Monday evening.

He revealed that the country would remain on level 3 adjusted lockdown, for the time being, meaning that the ban on the sale and distribution of alcohol would not be lifted.

"Health services in several parts of the country reported that the prohibition of alcohol sales had significantly reduced the number of trauma cases seen in our hospitals over the New Year period".

On 1 January the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Soweto said that for the first time in its history, not a single patient was admitted to its trauma unit on New Year's Eve.

Speaking to Refilwe Moloto on Tuesday the Western Cape Department Of Health's Dr Saadiq Kariem said it was a similar picture in hospitals in the Western Cape.

I was at Victoria Hospital on New Year's Day and it was empty.

Dr Saadiq Kariem, Chief of Operations - Western Cape Department Of Health

Colleagues at Khayelitsha Hosptial commented that they'd never before in their working career seen the hospital that empty.

Dr Saadiq Kariem, Chief of Operations - Western Cape Department Of Health

Kariem says the official figures support those observations:

We compared this year New Year's Day, with 2020, we saw a 65% drop in our trauma presentations for that 24 hour period.

Dr Saadiq Kariem, Chief of Operations - Western Cape Department Of Health

I'm not surprised by the continuation of the alcohol ban

Dr Saadiq Kariem, Chief of Operations - Western Cape Department Of Health

WATCH: Still no booze and land borders closed as SA is ' in the centre of the storm'

And what of the rate of infections since the country was placed in adjusted level 3 lockdown on 28 December?

Dr Kariem says the rate of increase has slowed 'significantly' and test positivity is also coming down.

We're also beginning to see the stabilisation of hospitalisations in the province.

Dr Saadiq Kariem, Chief of Operations - Western Cape Department Of Health

Listen to the full interview with the COO of the Western Cape Health Department:


12 January 2021 8:35 AM

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