Lockdown booze ban: Fewer trauma cases since new crackdown, says KZN Premier Zikalala

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala
PHOTO: Supplied by KZN government
  • KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala says there is an easing of pressure on the province's trauma units since the alcohol ban.
  • He also revealed that more than 1 500 health care workers have tested positive for Covid-19 in total.
  • This makes up for around 4% of all cases in the province.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala says the sudden renewed ban on alcohol sales imposed by President Cyril Ramaphosa last week is already yielding results in his province.

"We are already starting to see some signs of the easing of pressure on our trauma, accident and emergency units in hospitals, as well as the mortuary admissions of people who died from violent causes," Zikalala said on Sunday in his weekly provincial update.

He said from, 6 July to 12 July, there had been 155 trauma cases in one Durban hospital.

"But one week since the reintroduction of the ban on alcohol, from 13 July to 18 July, we only had 120 trauma cases. We expect a further reduction in this regard, the longer the ban continues."

READ | KZN family hurt and angry after mum dies of Covid-19 after testing negative in hospital

Zikalala said there was also a decrease in serious crime over the last week.

"We have always maintained that alcohol is a contributing factor in murders, attempted murders, assaults, rapes and domestic violence. We have seen a reduction in these crimes since the police in the province started enforcing the ban on the sale distribution of alcohol."

Healthcare workers

More than 1 500 KwaZulu-Natal health workers have been infected with Covid-19 in the province, making up for around 4% of all infections, he said.

"Among the 40 045 cases in KwaZulu-Natal, 1 557 healthcare workers are infected with Covid-19. Approximately 60% of the infected healthcare workers are nurses."

He added, however, that there was a low mortality rate among healthcare workers, with 12 dying from Covid-19 in the province.

"Of the total infected, less than a percentage have succumbed to the disease since the beginning of the pandemic. Nevertheless, those deaths are 12 too many. Again, may their souls rest in peace. We send our deepest condolences to their families."

The numbers

Updating the public on the province's Covid-19 numbers, Zikalala said the latest stats showed a serious growth in cases.

"As predicted, our curve is rising as we continue to see a sustained rate of transmissions in the province, just as in the rest of the country."

As of Sunday, KwaZulu-Natal had registered 40 045 positive cases, of which 28 574 were still active.

"Sadly, we had 136 new deaths this week, bringing our toll to 416. We also had 2 758 new cases, and 11 055 recoveries," Zikalala said.

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He said that, just a week ago, there had been 23 751 positive cases, of which 17 450 were still active, 280 deaths, and 6 021 recoveries.

"This therefore means that, in just one week, we have had 19 706 new Covid-19 cases, 136 new deaths, and 5 034 additional recoveries."

The surge in cases continued, with the eThekwini Metro and uMgungundlovu Districts recording more than half of the daily cases.

Zikalala said that, of the 2 758 new cases that had been recorded by 18 July, the eThekwini District had recorded 44%, followed by uMgungundlovu with 18%.

"uMgungundlovu District remains the second-highest with Covid-19 cases provincially, and has been receiving a median of 270 cases daily since the beginning of June.

"eThekwini District has been receiving a median of 781 cases daily since the beginning of June, while Amajuba District has been receiving a median of 60 cases daily within the same period."

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