Johannesburg Emergency Services Robert Mulaudzi says they remain on high alert as around 58 incidents were reported since Monday of people assaulting each other since the lifting of the alcohol ban.
Speaking on Power FM, the spokesperson said that from an emergency perspective, from Monday there was a huge increase in assault cases.
“During level four and five, we were not responding to a lot of trauma cases.
“From Monday 6am up until 2pm on Tuesday we had a huge increase where people were assaulting each other.
“Normally between 5am and 4pm, we respond to three or four motor vehicle accidents. This jumped to about 16 cases.”
A confirmed 18 sexual assault cases, 16 cases of domestic violence and eight drunken driving cases were reported in Limpopo since Monday, in another link to the lifting of the alcohol ban under level 3.
This was confirmed by the MEC of health in Limpopo, Poppy Ramathuba, who said there were 61 common assault cases, proving that it had been hectic since Monday.
While doing her rounds on Monday morning, she noticed long lines at liquor stores, which were a warning sign to her of what was to come and an indicator of the magnitude of the situation, she said.
She advised medical professionals to beef up resources at hospitals for any emergencies. Although the department was well prepared, she warned that there needed to be caution on the consumption of liquor.
Asked if the numbers would be the same if the lockdown levels were stricter, she said there had been fewer cases under normal circumstances, while weekends and long weekends normally saw an increased number of incidents.
In highlighting some of the cases the department had received, she said it was disturbing to note that some of the suspects in the cases were school children. Schools remain closed for now.