Booze ban working, say doctors

The banning of the sale of alcohol remains one of the most controversial regulations to emerge during the national lockdown, both among the industry and consumers.

However, doctors are saying that the ban has had a noticeable impact on the number of trauma cases they’ve had to deal with.

Speaking to Radio 702 recently, Helen Joseph Hospital trauma unit head Dr Patricia Saffy said that within a week of the ban being lifted in June, there were almost 100 assaults.

“This week [after the re-banning of alcohol sales], we only saw 36 assaults, so there has been a massive drop.

“The trauma statistics have reduced tremendously due to the ban and curfew,” she said.

She was backed up by Groote Schuur Hospital trauma unit operations manager Carmen Miller, who said that trauma cases shot up dramatically after the ban was lifted.

“The week before the ban was reinstated, we were seeing up to 120 patients and since the ban, the assaults and gun shot wound cases have decreased amazingly,” Miller said.

For both, the ban is important because by helping to decrease the amount of trauma cases hospitals have to deal with, it frees up crucial resources to combat Covid-19.


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