The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) has expressed support for the controversial decision to ban alcohol, under Level 3 of the lockdown.
In his address to the nation on Monday, 28 December 2020, Ramaphsoa announced a series of stringent measures in the country.
“We are particularly happy with the prohibition of sale of alcohol at retailers and for indoor consumption, as incidents out of these have led to a sizeable increase in emergencies at our health-care facilities,” Denosa said.
The union said that the decision will result in fewer trauma cases and thus open up bed space for COVID-related admissions.
“Denosa would like to plead with many South Africans to think of this decision as a gesture of appreciation of human life rather than a punitive decision,” the union further said.
The decision to ban alcohol sales has been widely welcomed, including by several political parties. Ramaphosa emphasised that this was motivated by the fact that trauma units were filling up and the lives of healthcare workers being endangered.
“The sale of alcohol will not be permitted. The prohibition on consuming alcohol in public spaces remains. Distribution and transportation will be prohibited,” the president said in his umpteenth speech.
On Sunday, 27 December 2020, South Africa reached the grim milestone of 1-million COVID-19 infections since the outbreak began in the country in March and the death toll keeps rising. Healthcare workers have not been sparred from the global health crisis, with more than 400 of them having succumbed to the respiratory illness.
“That over 41,000 health-care workers have since been infected in both first and second waves is calamitous to say the least. That more than 430 health-care workers have been infected in the second wave alone is indicative of the disastrous position the health-care workers have been placed in due to this pandemic,” said Denosa.
Some unions have been unhappy with government and its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in relation to how it affects frontline healthcare workers. There have been concerns surrounding adherence from hospitals, workers’ conditions as well as the provision (or lack thereof) of personal protection equipment.