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Coronavirus: South Africa bans alcohol sales to free hospital beds for COVID-19 patients

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South Africa’s president has announced a ban on alcohol sales to reduce the number of people admitted to hospital.

It is hoped that a fall in the number of alcohol-related hospital admissions would mean more beds available to treat COVID-19 patients.

A night curfew will also be reinstated to reduce traffic accidents, again freeing up hospital beds.

Wearing face masks has also become compulsory in public.



Coronavirus in South Africa, Jonathan Sparks



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It comes after South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said health officials had warned that the number of hospital beds would soon not be enough, as coronavirus cases climb.

He said the country was expected to reach the peak of cases between the end of July and September.

South Africa has confirmed 276,242 cases of the virus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, and 4,079 deaths.

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The country has reported daily increases of more than 10,000 confirmed cases for several days, with the latest daily figure adding nearly 13,500 to the total.

In March, South Africa began a strict lockdown in an effort to fight the virus but it has since eased many of those restrictions due to fears that continuing the lockdown would ruin the struggling economy.

 

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