South Africa now registers more than 12,000 new cases of coronavirus per day, the fourth largest daily increase in the world, and deaths from Covid-19 have increased by a quarter over the past week to reach more than 4,000, according to official data.
Within hours of Ramaphosa’s address, consumers turned to social media to express their anger with hashtags like #AlcoholHasFallen.
Many Twitter users said they would make their own drinks or purchase contraband alcohol, while bar staff and shop staff were concerned that they would fight to food on the table.
Despite its unpopularity, the alcohol ban could help thousands of Covid-19 patients seek treatment, medical experts said.
Modeling by the Medical Research Council of South Africa has shown that if the ban is maintained for eight weeks, it could allow the treatment of approximately 17,750 Covid-19 patients in general services, or 12,950 in medical units. Critical care, due to fewer alcohol-related trauma-related cancer admissions, said RCN’s alcohol research director Charles Parry.