South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has banned the sales of alcohol to help contain the spread of the coronavirus. In the new directive, wearing a mask will also be compulsory.
According to the BBC, Ramaphosa said the new directives would ease the pressure on the healthcare system which is fighting rising infections competing against limited resources.
The ban on alcohol sales is expected to completely cut off any attempt by the South Africans to organize drink parties at home, which may provide grounds for the spread of the virus.
"There are a number of people who have taken to organising parties, who have drinking sprees, and some who walk around crowded spaces without wearing masks," he said.
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The ban was initially lifted after the South Africa government noted that its imposition led to a sharp increase in domestic fights and home drinking parties. Even though the medics lauded the move for limiting the spread of the disease, the brewers complained that they were subjected to losses and risked being driven out of the sector.
Since the virus jetted into the African continent, South Africa rose to the top of the chart as the worst-hit, overtaking Egypt which was one of 5the first countries to suffer the most.
As at now, South Africa has over 200,000 cases of the virus and 4,000 fatalities. Fears have compounded that the death toll may be able to hit 50,000 by the end of this year if safety measures are not adhered with. Gauteng province is the worst-hit area in the country.
The government has extended the state of emergency to August 15, and there are other measures in place like the curfew.