eSwatini sticks to 2-month-old alcohol sales ban amid COVID-19

2020-09-03 07:21:00 PM

Covıd 19, Eswatini

eSwatini sticks to 2-month-old alcohol sales ban amid COVID19

Eswatini's Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade Manqoba Khumalo said the restriction on the production and distribution of alcohol is a delicate one.He was speaking to foreign journalists at a zoom briefing on the kingdom's post-pandemic economic recovery.

The ban started on 1 July and was meant to end after two months, but Khumalo said government wasn't ready to make an informed decision.“We are now at a stage where we are consulting all stakeholders extensively just to ensure that we can confidently make a decision that will not reverse some of the gains that we have seen. Our curve has begun to flatten but that was only in the last couple of weeks. We don't believe we have accumulated enough data at this stage to make an informed decision on some of the bans that we've issued on things like alcohol at this stage, but we are consulting heavily, particularly all the health professionals and the industry itself as well as the relevant associations and the community structures.”

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Eswatini's Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade Manqoba Khumalo said the restriction on the production and distribution of alcohol is a delicate one. He was speaking to foreign journalists at a zoom briefing on the kingdom's post-pandemic economic recovery. It is estimated that if 100 infections were reported using the app it could prevent as many as 15 to 20 hospital admissions and save two lives. The ban started on 1 July and was meant to end after two months, but Khumalo said government wasn't ready to make an informed decision. “The evidence shows that if you give corticosteroids …(there are) 87 fewer deaths per 1,000 patients,” she told a WHO social media live event. “We are now at a stage where we are consulting all stakeholders extensively just to ensure that we can confidently make a decision that will not reverse some of the gains that we have seen. Our curve has begun to flatten but that was only in the last couple of weeks. Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu has warned of significant risks that point to internal deficiencies in government systems as well as the exposure to an external risk to state funds.

We don't believe we have accumulated enough data at this stage to make an informed decision on some of the bans that we've issued on things like alcohol at this stage, but we are consulting heavily, particularly all the health professionals and the industry itself as well as the relevant associations and the community structures. The findings, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, reinforce results that were hailed as a major breakthrough and announced in June, when dexamethasone became the first drug shown to be able to reduce death rates among severely sick COVID-19 patients.” Khumalo said an announcement will be made soon. Just like neighbouring South Africa, eSwatini instituted a booze sales ban to curb the spread of new COVID-19 infections and to give health facilities a chance to prepare. Download the EWN app to your iOS or Android device. The WHO’s updated guidance, published on its website late on Wednesday, said corticosteroids should only be used in treatment of the sickest COVID-19 patients, and not in non-severe cases, since “the treatment brought no benefits (in milder cases) and could even prove harmful”. . "This report should become the baseline for the interrogation by oversight on how the funds entrusted for the Covid-19 response were used.