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SA bans alcohol sales, tightens curfew in new Covid-19 restrictions

Cabinet decided to move the country to level 3 restrictions from level 1, with immediate effect.
Covid-19 takes a toll on SA. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

South Africa on Monday tightened Covid-19 restrictions, banning alcohol sales and extending a nationwide curfew, as infections shot through the one million mark owing to a faster-spreading variant of the disease discovered in the country.

South Africa has recorded the highest number of coronavirus infections on the continent, with 1 004 413 cases reported and nearly 27 000 deaths. Daily cases started rising rapidly at the end of November, to between 10 000 and 14 000.

The new variant, referred to as 501.V2, was discovered by a network of scientists around SA who have been tracking the genetics of the virus. It has led to a number of countries, including Britain and Germany, banning flights from the country.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a televised address that cabinet had decided to move the country to level 3 restrictions from level 1, with immediate effect. This would include the total banning of alcohol sales, widespread cancelling of events, and making the wearing of masks in public a legal requirement.

The nationwide curfew would move to 21:00 to 06:00 local time, Ramaphosa said. Public parks, beaches, dams, rivers and public swimming pools in hot spot areas will be closed.

The president said a number of districts and municipalities had been added to the hot spot list. These areas could be subject to further restrictions, he said.

“We now have to flatten the curve to protect the capacity of our healthcare system to enable it to respond effectively to this new wave of infections,” Ramaphosa said.

“These restrictions may be reviewed in the next few weeks if we see a sustained decline in infections,” Ramaphosa said.

Commercial centre Gauteng, tourist favourite Western Cape and coastal Eastern Cape are the worst-hit provinces and accounted for most of the areas now considered hot spots. Areas in the northern Limpopo province were also added to the list.

 

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How many people’s income – for a second time – is going to be taken away? Cyril is a billionare – he doesn’t have to worry about an income.

The individual with the tea towel on her head, her bootlegger bosses and the other criminal elements within her party have prevailed again. The luxury car dealers and upmarket realtors must licking their lips.

Statistically, one or more of the people whinging in the comments, or a close family member is likely to get Covid. Regardless, once it hits home, it would be good to get an update.

And may will die……

Dss… you won’t be missed

Ongoing abuse of power…Not based on science. Terrible to watch further destruction of livelihoods while those in power enforcing this nonsense are all fully paid, safe and comfortable.

Decision taken by cabinet….of which not one is a businessman or an employee. Fat cats all.

After the first lockdown, what have we got? The second wave. After this lockdown, what will we get? The third wave of course. And so on ad infinitem until we have herd immunity via infections and recoveries and/or vaccines.

But by the time we get to lockdown rev 3? 4? 5? 6? Where will the economy be? Shredded, that’s where, and people will be dying from starvation and distress.

Ban superspreader events and mandate masks by all means. But to destroy your economy along with it is utter madness.

No wonder Cyril looks so out of his depth. It’s because he is.

I don’t only blame the regime. I also blame the private healthcare industry. They’ve known about the second wave for months, but now, suddenly, allegedly, they’re “overwhelmed” by the few drunks who have to have their heads stitched on a Friday night. What did the public and private medical industry do to prepare for the 2nd wave? Did they establish more capacity? Train extra assistants? Their lack of planning now leads to hundreds of thousands of people’s income being in jeopardy.

The drunk knife wielding populace do not have medical aids and do not turn up at private hospitals. No extra capacity needed for that. They get their grants from the state and turn up at state hospitals.

My feelings for lockdown aside and the brutal economic harm they bring.

It beggars belief that beaches and rivers/pools etc get closed down – yet the main vector of any concentrated spread is certainly the millions of people jammed 20+ into Taxis for several hours a day.

Yet the Command Council will not dare even tread in their direction for fear of the violent reprisals that would ensue.

So we get cosmetic posturing instead. If we are doing this in the middle of summer – any takes on what level winter will be. Maybe we should give Dan Andrews keys to the country for a year.

Soon hopefully, RSA and the rest of the world – will understand you can no more control a virus than you can the wind or the tides.

My husband is a first line heathworker. He says that in his experience funerals are absolute superpreaders and the starting point for many more infections and death. Squirrel and his comrats must know this too, yet continue to send people to their own deaths for fear of offending “our people”, or even dead “our people”.

The Cyril’s “peoples” culture is to have huge funerals.

…..healthworker…

I seriously don’t see how we can avoid defaulting in the years to come. Haha to think they want to manage more of pensions.

If lockdown measures are the proper reaction to a common virus, then those same measures will be a thousand times more effective against another scourge that plagues the South African society. South Africa falls within the top 10 nations for violent deaths per capita. Just guess what the incidence is? The same as for covid – 40 per 100 000 of the population!

This is not the results of a virus infection, nor any act of nature. This phenomenon is 100% driven by human action. Fellow humans are as big a threat to human life in South Africa as the virus is. Lockdown should be a much more effective tool against violent behaviour, yet the state ignores this “deadly threat to society”

We are involved in a war, yes, but we are not fighting against a virus, it is our fellow humans who are killing us at exactly the same rate as the virus. By the way, lockdown measures force the victims to remain in a confined space with the attackers! Where is the “caring government”? Where are the intelligent voices? Who speaks for the victims of domestic violence while the economic policies of this pathetic government are the major cause of this socio-economic civil war.

Where is the pragmatism in this lockdown disaster?

The taxi industry’s super spreader status cannot be challenged! I genuinely believe all industries should become lawless thugs and then sit back and receive Government favouritism.

What’s much worse than alcohol as a super spreader is the taxi industry, buy far the biggest killer industry in SA.

Taxis need to be banned along with alcohol.

Laws are created to punish those who abide by them.

July 2019 the UN reported that 820 million people faced starvation the economic lockdowns increased this by about 65 milliom in July 2020.

I guess starvation is better than getting Covid, well done world leaders.

And the idijits prevail. These banning will NOT stop the spread of this virus but they are to be seen to be doing something by the idijits that elected them.

Hasn’t this country been Zuma’s enough???They will retire with their FAT pensions and all the perks of killing a country

I must disagree with many of the comments made regarding alcohol.

Fact is that many beds taken up in hospitals are indeed because of alcohol related incidents. So I agree with our president that we should ban it’s sale and control it’s consumption as much as possible in this time.

As a home distiller (& soon to be bootlegger), I couldn’t agree with you more.

DHawker — need your address, bank details and price list please — I will arrange couriers.

JapieM, in daardie geval, vergoed dan alle werkers en besighede in daardie sektor ten volle asb. Dankie

Japie, you may make the correct observation, but your conclusion is a terrible mistake. If we carry on with your logic then we have to ban sugar and high-glycemic products because the consumption of those products is responsible for the comorbidities that lead to hospitalisation.

The situation can be handled in a much more effective and justifiable way. Any hospital can be declared as a “covid hospital” and then refuse to accommodate alcohol-related cases. Send the alcohol-abusing hooligans back to the shebeen where they came from. There is no logic in destroying the livelihoods of employees in the beverage chain because some irresponsible bottom feeders cannot behave themselves. You are punishing the wrong people! You are punishing the responsible part of the community because the hooligans fight when they are drunk! No man!

We need some pragmatism in this pandemic. The pragmatic alternative is to let individuals take the responsibility for their own health, for, in effect, they are. The virus is everywhere. The tests merely find the virus at some spots. Everyone has most probably been infected already, and 90% showed no symptoms. Less than 0.04% of the population die of this variant of a common virus. You put an entire town in lockdown, remove their livelihoods and reasons for living without compensation because 4 inhabitants of that town will die due to covid? Those 4 individuals will die, no matter what anybody does and irrespective of your alcohol ban.

Reconsider your opinion.

I personally witnessed it at our Christmas office party. everyone arrived with a mask on. Then all 7 of us removed our masks to drink before supper. Everyone outside of our group had their masks off as well. The next moment someone from one group saw a friend in another group and popped across to say hello. the din was loud so everyone got closer to hear each other. Then we were eating and finally a few stayed to have a last drink and mixed with everyone else. Masks never were put back on and social distancing was lost due to drink.
Don’t get me wrong I love my drink but it sure does break down inhiations and common sense.

Dayview. Thank you for sharing your experience. We cross a dangerous line when we allow some authority to interfere in the normal, everyday behaviour of well-behaved, intelligent and law-abiding citizens. The consumption of alcohol has zero health benefits but it does have recreational benefits. Sugar and all high-GI foods are detrimental to your health. A diet high in starchy foods leads to the metabolic syndrome which is the comorbidity that makes covid deadly.

No intervention by any human can prevent the spread of a virus that was created by nature to infect humans. A human can, however, make lifestyle changes to make the virus less lethal. Following a healthy diet and exercising regularly prevents the metabolic syndrome and offers protection against the effects of an unpreventable disease.

Should the government now act in the best interest of childish and immature investors and ban all sugar, pasta, rice, bread and potatoes? They can regulate your life, for your own benefit, until there is no difference between civilian life and solitary confinement. Is this what you suggest as the solution?

Just punidh the rubbish hooligans with community service. Covid Wards need cleaning, roads, etcet… But the commanders punish good tax paying retail outlets!

Punish…

I agree that alcohol is the most potent form of brain numbing agent in the world, the reason people use it because they cannot endure their daily miserable lives and it is therefore a coping mechanism.

If the Goverment always knew that is was the reason so many hospitals had limited beds available then they should make am out right ban of the stuff.

Socialists try control so many things at once but fail to make their system work purely because you cannot stop people from having needs and wants which the central command authority can not cater for.

Maybe they Goverment should ban cars because people also die from accidents, they should ban guns and every other product.

They cannot and will not because they do not have interests in those bans, the illegal cigarette market has it roots deep in the ANC, the ban merely made their business more profitable.

The initial deaths had 52% associated with DM/Obesity. If you ban alcohol , ban sweets,chocolates, all sweetened drinks etc. Just be consistent and stop showing the complete lack of intellect. A tsunami of Diabetes is upon SA but we close beaches, ” our people” flock to the supermarkets/fast foods to feed their developing obesity and DM/HT. And more of this group will die of this alone than of COVID

I disagree – and it’s its. Banning alcohol is like banning firearms – the wrong sort of people abuse them, but civilised people should be trusted with both. But then we in SA have a problem with “civilised”, and that is the nub of the problem.

Alcohol or not, you just cant legislate for sensible, responsible behaviour!

Just like banning the car to reduce road deaths…like the ejits who drink to the point of apoplexy, others drive their cars irresponsibly and dangerously!

A full bottle of whiskey and a parked car does no evil!

Why the reluctance to pay for vaccine?

Is he trying to act like a “Poor Nation” and get it for free from the colonials or commie masters?

Why embarrass the whole nation when the rest world knows how much is wasted on SAA and how much is stolen. Then you are to “poor” to pay your own way?? Surly this is the clearest indication that he facilitates and encourages this sort of behavior.

In addition it is in poor taste and shows he is not the leader people expected him to be. Just a beggar that knows how to enrich himself at everybody else expense. SIS!!

The heavies in the ANC have leaned on Cyril to give the WP a little more than a slap on the wrist, so close all beaches.

The super spreader?? the packed taxi? Nothing.

Like baling out a sinking boat with a sieve.

What happened to the hundreds of millions spent on field hospitals? SARS is going to take years to recover all this bloody money lost and yes bloody since there will a job bloodbath,no income, limited sources of finance available to finance deficit. How can anyone believe that we will not default within the next 3 to 5 years?

Close the Overberg beaches? How crazy is that? You could fit the entire Overberg population on, say, Kleinmond beach alone – and still maintain social distancing.

Same at Struisbaai. One really has to wonder about the brain power

The only silver lining about this second wave, and the new, more transmissible strain of covid, is that it’s likely to take out some of the miserable whingers who frequent these comment boards.

What a really horrible thing to say; just because you don’t agree with someone, you wish them dead? Wow!

Not any worse than the people who have been hellbent on undermining any attempts to control this disease, and whose light-touch approach has led to a new mutation developing.

Dss simply has no place in the company of intelligent people and therefore should not trawl the MW comment section. Time to freeze him out.

The complaining and criticism would be a lot less if the regulations made more sense. It is NOT protecting the people by allowing full taxis and malls and casinos.

So when non-sensical regulations like blanket bans on beaches and rivers (which pose FAR lower risks) come along, the unhappiness and frustration is understandable. Crowded beach with drunk crowds is a policing problem. A 9km beach with maybe 50 people walking is not any kind of problem.

And now the clown in the hat says you cannot transport wine you bought legally while on holiday, back to your home in your own private transport. You cannot make this stuff up.

Ja Griet — Logic from Mr Baywatch himself ne !!

If you want to go to the beach, try Valley of Waves at Sun City.

Exactly , I have plenty of alcohol with me and what must I now do if I cannot transport it back to jhb for 1200km ??

What a joke. Are they trying to turn law abiding citizens into criminals or what is the real motivation behind this.

6 months in prison for not wearing a mask , but you can sit In a taxi and everything is perfectly fine.

The sad thing is , what can we do ? Nothing , we are at the mercy of these “experts, politicians and traditional leaders” (why traditional leaders are consulted is another example of stupidity beyond belief)

If you ban alcohol please show some more intellect regarding some of the major associated factors with COVID deaths namely obesity/diabetes and hypertension. Ban all sweet drinks, sweets, chocolates, fast foods ( not all but most are very unhealthy )etc
a Tsunami of obesity and it’s associated morbidities is sweeping SA
And closing all beaches – boggles the mind. Now the people congregate where you actually do not want them to be

Agree, buy PPC Cement, BULD A HOME & A SCHOOL, it will last longer than dop! Refer to image at the top of the article.

I’ve see all your criticism to the alcohol ban; but very thin on alternatives.

Ask any doctor at state hospitals of the alcohol related cases over weekends. Every weekend they are inundated with stab wounds etc.

We have a socio economic issue that has now come to bite us. The only form of recreation is to drink in shebeens/clubs/funerals . Sad. This behaviour is also seen in the UK.

So? Make BEING DRUNK in public a crime with severe punishments. After you have been stiched up, you must know that you will go to jail directly and serious trouble will follow. Wandering drunk on a public road? Straight to jail. It is not the tourist ubering back from a wine-tasting and R 2000 gourmet meal that turn up at Tygerberg. Our economy is being destroyed because the government will not acknowledge what a social disaster they have created by handing out grants to all and sundry, with no give back from the recipients. Come February, Tito will rob the few taxpayers to make up for the government’s criminal bungling of the pandemic and their rampant theft.

If lockdowns affected politicians wages, there would be no lockdowns.

Is allowing taxis to run intentional exposure

This government is filled to the brim with on the job trainees!!! They will retire with their FAT pensions and all the perks as they take down the country.Don’t forget to vote. You can get a cool T shirt & food parcel.

End of comments.

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