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Eight weeks of no alcohol allowed to be sold, transported or bought at public outlets and restaurants could save South Africa R1.3 billion. It could also lead to 18,000 COVID-19 patients being treated in general wards and 13,000 patients in ICU.

According to News24, that’s the opionion of Professor Charles Parry of the South African Medical Research Council’s (SAMRC) Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drug Research Unit, and forms part of government’s attempt to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The information comes after a public outcry following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s immediate ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol in public places. During his address to the nation on Sunday the 12th of July, the President used the statistics and suggestions made by the SAMRC.

Business Live reported that members of the public, as well as the National Liquor Traders Council, demanded to know what the President’s decision was based on. The National Liquor Traders Council represents 34,500 taverns across the country.

Following this, the SAMRC released its study to the public and the collective alcohol industry in a bid to be more transparent and explain its recommendations made that led to the booze ban.

The Financial Mail has reported that Parry has admitted to the study not undergoing a peer review by a journal as this could have taken years. He did add that it was heavily debated by the ministerial advisory committee and within the SAMRC.

Parry told the Financial Mail that he personally believes that imposing tighter restrictions on the sale of alcohol, rather than an outright prohibition, is the better approach.

Watch the eNCA video of its interview with Professor Charles Parry below.

Credit image: Food For Mzansi

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