Gauteng Health MEC Dr. Bandile Masuku has welcomed the decision to ban alcohol and added it will bring much relief to health facilities in the province.
Statistics show that the Helen Joseph Hospital in Westdene, Johannesburg, saw 767 cases in its trauma unit in June, with 481 of those linked to assaults alone.
The month of June marked South Africa moving to alert level 3 of the risk-adjusted lockdown strategy, which included the easing of restrictions such as the sale of alcohol and a dropping of the night-time curfew.
Both of these regulations were recently reinstituted by the government on Sunday.
June 2020 breakdown:
Assault no stab: 403
Assault with stab: 70
Mob assault: 5
Sexual assault: 3
Motor Vehicle Accidents (MVA): 131
Motor Bike Accidents (MBA): 22
Passenger Vehicle Accidents (PVA): 76
Gunshot wounds (GSW): 25
In May, when the country was on level 4 of the lockdown and the sale of alcohol was prohibited, the trauma unit saw 406 cases.
This equates to 361 less cases in the unit than in June. The unit is in one of the hospitals currently serving on the front line in the fight against Covid-19.
The 406 cases in June were:
272 for assaults;
71 for MVA;
16 for MBA;
34 for PVA;
13 for GSW, and;
26 for burns.
In April, the first full month of the hard lockdown to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, saw 320 cases treated in the trauma unit.
This was 86 cases less than those registered in May.
The breakdown of trauma cases in April were:
42 for motor vehicle accidents;
3 for motor bike accidents;
23 for passenger vehicle accidents;
21 for gunshot wounds, and;
15 for burns.
Following overwhelming evidence that the consumption of alcohol had increased the trauma case load in hospitals across the country, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the suspension of the sale of alcohol with immediate effect.
The decision was taken to avoid burdening clinics and hospitals with alcohol-related trauma cases.
“This is a fight to save every life, and we need to save every bed [to do that]. There is now clear evidence that the resumption of alcohol sales has resulted in substantial pressure being put on hospitals, including trauma and ICU units, due to motor vehicle accidents, violence and other related trauma,” Ramaphosa said.
Gauteng Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku has since welcomed the decision, and added it will bring much relief to health facilities in the province.
As of Wednesday, Gauteng had 107 070 cases of Covid-19, with 40 144 recoveries and 726 deaths.
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