Eastern Cape premier tests negative for Covid-19, warns of booze crackdown

Written by on 06/06/2020

‘Protecting lives is more important than alcohol sales’

Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane has tested negative for Covid-19.

Mabuyane has been in quarantine for the past week after fears that he may have contracted the virus from one of his staff members, special adviser Zandisile Qupe, who had tested positive.

Mabuyane confirmed on Thursday that his results came back negative, ultimately ending his quarantine, reported SowetanLIVE.

“I have tested because I was a significant contact to him. I have since received my negative results and that ends my self-quarantine as the premier,” said Mabuyane.

The Eastern Cape currently has 4,526 positive cases, with 95 having lost the battle against the virus.

Mabuyane said he was concerned about the snaking queues at liquor stores, which he feared may thwart the province’s fight against the virus. He warned that should the queuing continue, he may be forced to ask the national government to stop the sale of alcohol in the province.

Since the ban on the sale of liquor was lifted on Monday, hospitals have reported an increased number of patients in trauma units.

“Alert level 3 is meant to open up our economy … I’m afraid the scenes of long queues at liquor outlets … might see a spike in infections,” said the premier.

“This defeats the … essence of saying people must stay at home, maintain social distance and adhere to proper hygiene.

“We are hopeful that such scenes won’t be a constant feature in our province going forward, because we would be left with no choice but to lobby the national government to prohibit the sale of alcohol again.

“Protecting lives is more important than alcohol sales.”


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