Ban on alcohol reduced the number of unnatural deaths, study reveals

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Research finds that a blanket ban on alcohol reduces the number of unnatural deaths related to trauma injuries.
Research finds that a blanket ban on alcohol reduces the number of unnatural deaths related to trauma injuries.

New research has found compelling evidence that a blanket ban on alcohol reduces the number of unnatural deaths related to trauma injuries while curfews have less of an impact.

The study, published in the South African Medical Journal (SAMJ), used data from January 2020 to mid-April 2021, sourced from the weekly mortality surveillance data prepared by the SAMRC and UCT collaboration.

Professor Tom Moultrie, lead author and director of the University of Cape Town’s Centre for Actuarial Research, said the findings show the weekly number of unnatural deaths — such as car crashes, suicides and murders — was about 50% lower than expected during the Level 5 hard lockdown from March to May 2020, and was 26% lower than expected when the sale of alcohol was banned with curfews of between four and seven hours.

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