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South Africa returns to ban on alcohol sales as virus surges

Posted at 3:49 PM, Jul 12, 2020

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South African President Cyril Ramaphosa says the country will immediately return to a ban on the sale of alcohol to reduce the volume of trauma patients so that hospitals have more beds to treat COVID-19 patients.

Confronted by surging hospitalizations due to the coronavirus, South Africa is also reinstating a night curfew to reduce traffic accidents and made it mandatory for all residents to wear face masks when in public.

Ramaphosa said that top health officials warn of impending shortages of hospital beds and medical oxygen as South Africa reaches a peak of COVID-19 cases, expected between the end of July and September.

South Africa’s rapid increase in reported cases has made it one of the world’s centers for COVID-19.