Just days after the unbanning of alcohol and easing of the curfew, paramedics have had their hands full with trauma cases resulting from car accidents.
Best Care ambulance spokesperson Xander Loubser said motorists needed to be responsible.
“I want to remind the public that Covid-19 still exists.
“It seems like there are people who are irresponsible drinkers, hence there have been a lot of trauma cases. Drinking and driving is also a problem.”
Loubser said two people were seriously injured in an accident at the intersection of Lynnwood Road and Albeth Street in Die Wilgers on Sunday at around 9am.
The two, a man and woman, suffered serious injuries and both vehicles were left battered.
On Saturday night, a truck and a vehicle collided head-on in Van der Hoff Street, Hercules. The driver of the car sustained fractures in his arm. He was treated at the scene before being transported to hospital.
Earlier in the day, there was another accident, on the Mabopane highway which involved a family of three, where a driver of the vehicle they were travelling in lost control. “All three were seriously injured.”
Loubser said a woman was killed in another accident in the west of Pretoria on Friday evening.
“The driver lost control and the vehicle overturned. A woman (passenger) passed away and the driver was transported to hospital with serious injuries,” he said.
Ambu-Link Emergency medical service said a Putco bus and a vehicle were involved in a crash at the weekend. No injuries were reported.
The increase in accidents has been attributed to President Cyril Ramaphosa last month announcing that the sale of alcohol would be eased, allowing licensed establishments to sell for off-site consumption from Monday to Thursday from 10am to 6pm, and licensed establishment for on-site consumption any day of the week from 10am to 10pm.
The director of the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Research Unit at the SA Medical Research Council, Professor Charles Parry, said if the nation failed to learn from the lessons presented during the pandemic about the effects of heavy drinking, history would repeat itself.
The World Health Organization (WHO) published data in 2019 ranking South Africa fifth in the world for drinking.
The Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance of SA said the move to level 1 was premature.
The organisation said public holidays were known to be times when people drink a lot. In addition, there would be a lot of traffic on the roads over Easter as people went on holiday.
Statistics have shown that Covid-19 infections were decreasing in South Africa, with 1 140 new infections reported on average each day.
That is 6% of the peak – the highest daily average reported on January 11.
There have been 1 520 206 infections and 50 647 coronavirus-related deaths reported in the country since the outbreak.