‘ED Should Follow Ramaphosa On Alcohol, Tobacco Ban’- Wadyajena
Gokwe-Nembudziya Member of Parliament, Justice Mayor Wadyajena says President Emmerson must follow South Africa’s ban on the sale of alcohol and cigarettes in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Yesterday, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa ordered a ban on alcohol and cigarettes sales citing health concerns as the country continues to record an astronomical surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths.
Likewise, Zimbabwe has seen a surge in local cases especially in the last two weeks, a development that forced Mnangagwa to declare that Zimbabwe will go back to level one of the lockdown, which entails that effectively, the country will have to stop all gatherings and ‘normal activities’.
Consequently, Wadyajena said banning alcohol and tobacco will likely reduce the rate of infection in the country.
“I implore President to immediately ban and criminalise the sale, possession and consumption of both alcohol and tobacco smoking symbol until a COVID-19 cure is found.
“With local transmissions surging to unprecedented levels, it’s time unpopular decisions are made! We’re too poor to take chances,” Wadyajena said on Twitter.
Although there has not been a scientific correlation between alcohol and COVID-19, scientists believe it is possible that alcohol consumption may increase the chance of developing the severe illness as a result of the coronavirus.
According to the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), alcohol use can increase the risk of acute respiratory distress syndrome and pneumonia, which are sometimes associated with COVID-19.
“Drinking alcohol weakens your body’s ability to fight infections, increasing the risk of complications and making it harder to get better if you are sick,” says CDC.
With more Zimbabweans out of formal employment, most people survive on vending, which includes illegal selling of tobacco and alcohol.
To date, Zimbabwe has recorded 985 cases and 18 deaths from the COVID-19 with the majority of the deaths being from local infections.
Harare and Bulawayo lead the number of confirmed cases with both having 288 and 183 respectively while on deaths, Harare has recorded eight and Bulawayo has seven.
Mnangagwa told a politburo meeting in Harare and Bulawayo last week that the new surge in local cases will effectively see the two biggest cities likely to be on total lockdown, to slow down the spread of the virus.