The Southern Africa Alcohol Policy Alliance (SAAPA) Botswana has applauded the government for its decision to restrict alcohol sales as a measure to curtail the spread of COVID-19.
“When people consume alcohol, car crashes and interpersonal violence incidents increase resulting in increased hospital admissions. Our fragile and limited health recourses are currently most needed to deal with COVID-19 patients. Government action to secure these limited resources to deal with the health pandemic should therefore be welcomed. While SAAPA Botswana acknowledges that the public health measures put in place impact small and medium enterprises with the loss of income, we implore them to put in place public health first before profit as these measures are for the greater good,” Mokgadi pointed out.
She further said SAAPA Botswana thanked business owners who despite the hardships at hand were still adhering to those restrictions for their sacrifice and urged those who were violating those restrictions for their sacrifice and implored those violating those restrictions to consider the impact of the spread of the virus on the community in the long term. She also stated that families including children were now dying from the pandemic thus calling for collective responsibility and sacrifice as a nation.
Moreover, she said some people were addicted to alcohol and willing to pay black market exorbitant prices, which she said would have spill-off effects on household income and lead to family arguments and fights. She added that drinking cheaply made alcohol or homebrews had negative health repercussions. Mokgadi further called on individuals with alcohol use disorders to use that time to reduce their drinking and seek professional help to kick the habit.
“SAAPA Botswana urges citizens to consider their actions on the lives of their loved ones. COVID is real but shall pass. As communities, we need to talk about better and consistent regulations so that the government does not have to implement what you consider to be severe actions in the future. We need to talk about how we can drink differently so that we experience less harm to ourselves and others. We urge the government to find ways to support citizens by providing social safety nets within the limited country budget,” she added.