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COVID-19 latest: Confirmed cases in SA increase by 18 555, deaths rise by 806



The latest COVID-19 figures have been released. According to the Health Ministry, 18 555 new cases were identified in South Africa. As of today, the death toll stands at 35 140, with recoveries at 1 030 930.

COVID-19 update: 13 January 2021

Breakdown of new confirmed COVID-19 cases

As per Health Minister Zweli Mkhize’s report, 18 555 confirmed cases were identified during the last 24 hours. Unfortunately, we also lost 806 patients to COVID-19-related illnesses.

As per the report, 150 patients from the Eastern Cape passed away, 24 from the Free State, 211 from Gauteng, 235 from KwaZulu-Natal, 14 from Limpopo, 14 from Mpumalanga, 7 from Northern Cape and 151 from the Western Cape.

At the time of publishing, the Health Ministry conducted 7 358 741 cumulative COVID-19 tests, of which 71 681 were done during the past 24 hours: 31 465 at public facilities and 40 216 at private facilities.

Breakdown of new COVID-19 cases

New cases, deaths and recoveries by province

The confirmed COVID-19 cases per province is as follows:

Province Total Cases in South Africa Total Deaths Total Recoveries Active Cases currently
Gauteng 346 482 6 606 291 957 47 919
Western Cape 248 339 8 642 197 224 42 473
KwaZulu-Natal 264 532 5 732 189 201 69 599
Free State 68 142 2 375 56 722 9 045
Eastern Cape 183 594 9 186 167 358 7 050
Limpopo 41 847 702 29 525 11 620
Mpumalanga 48 447 736 39 090 8 621
North West 48 538 707 35 741 12 090
Northern Cape 28 382 454 24 112 3 816
Unallocated 0

Also read: COVID-19: Gauteng to overtake KwaZulu-Natal as epicentre

Global statistics

At the time of publishing, the global caseload currently stands at 92 414 520 as of Wednesday, 13 January 2021, along with 1 978 954 recorded deaths and 66 054 534 recoveries.

The USA has a caseload of 23 427 379 confirmed cases, along with 391 039 total deaths and 13 827 857 recoveries. Approximately 57 000 new cases were recorded over the last 24 hours.

Also in the top five is worst-affected countries is India with a caseload of 10 504 353 while Brazil has a caseload of 8 210 134, Russia with 3 471 053 and the UK with 3 211 576.

France, which used to occupy the fifth spot, dropped down to sixth place. As of 13 January, South Africa was 16th on the list, preceded by Iran, Poland, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Germany, Spain, Italy, and Turkey. Protection Status

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‘If we see a gap in defences, we will close it’ says Ryan as joint-approach talks with UK continue



The Minister for Transport and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has said that the Irish Government will work closely with the UK government to have a seamless approach and to ensure there is not a “backdoor” into the country.

“If we see a gap in the defences, we will close it, we will work in cooperation” he told RTÉ radio’s Today with Claire Byrne show.

There was not a silver bullet solution for Covid-19, what would be provided was layers of security, he said.

Measures such as the requirement of a negative PCR test result and the threat of mandatory quarantine would reduce the numbers travelling and reduce the risk of transmission of the virus, he said.

The gardaí will have the powers to turn away people arriving without a negative PCR test result and the Government is also looking at stopping the issuing of short term visas from some countries.

Mandatory quarantine would provide some measure of protection and frontline workers deserve every protection, he said. “We are doing everything we can to ensure that protection. The numbers at the moment are scary.”

Mr Ryan said antigen testing would commence on Thursday for Irish truckers going to France, this had been agreed with the French government. “This is another layer of security. We need a multi-layered approach to travel.”

The Border

When asked about the chance of closing the border with Northern Ireland he said he did not think it was politically possible, but that if Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald thought she could influence it then “that would be great.”

It would be very difficult to hermetically seal the border, he said. But if people from the North were travelling within 5km of the border on the southern side without explanation, then they would be subject to prosecution and fines.


Buffer zone between the North and the Republic cal…

There would be no shortage of resources, it was not a case of a battle between the economy and the virus, he said. “We need to get hospitals away from the edge.”

On the issue of shortages of the AstraZeneca vaccine, Mr Ryan said that there were a number of “different moving parts” in the vaccination programme which was a plan that would keep changing, adding there would be adjustments.

“We are not in control of international manufacturing supplies.”

The Irish approach would have to be coordinated with an international approach so that every country could get access, he said.

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Iran not considering any limits for coop. with Azerbaijan



Iran not considering any limits for coop. with Azerbaijan

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif made the remarks in his meeting with his Azerbaijani counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov on Monday.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed the cooperation of the two countries in various fields, as well as regional issues.

Zarif expressed satisfaction with his presence in the Republic of Azerbaijan after the liberation of the occupied territories and paid tribute to the victims of the war, calling the new stage an important moment to help establish peace and stability in the region and for the benefit of all parties.

Describing the purpose of his visit to the region as an effort to establish peace and tranquillity, he expressed satisfaction with the increase of meetings between the officials of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Iran in recent months.

Zarif announced Iran’s readiness for an active and extensive presence in the reconstruction of the liberated areas, which are located on the common borders of the two countries.

He pointed to the fruitful talks between the two countries at the recent meeting of the Joint Commission for Economic Cooperation, saying that the views expressed by the President of Azerbaijan during today’s meeting indicate the serious determination of the two countries for cooperation.

Stating that Iran does not consider any limits for cooperation between the two countries, Zarif announced the comprehensive readiness of various economic sectors in Iran to take an active part in the economic projects of the Republic of Azerbaijan 

Iranian foreign minister also described the establishment of calm and peace in the region as a great opportunity for cooperation between the two countries in the field of transit and activation of the East-West and North-South corridors.

Jeyhun Bayramov, for his part, called the relations between the two countries based on friendship and historical and cultural commonalities and appreciated the positions of the Islamic Republic of Iran at the highest and popular levels towards the territorial integrity and sovereignty of this country.

Referring to the meetings of two countries’ high-level delegations, he described the development of economic relations as one of the important priorities in the relations Iran and Azerbaijan. 

Cooperation between the two countries in the Caspian region, cultural issues, cooperation in the field of water, transportation and international affairs, and trilateral cooperation with Turkey were among the topics discussed by two foreign ministers.

Iranian foreign minister also met and held talks with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev on Monday. 

Aliyev welcomed the presence of Iranian companies in the reconstruction of the freed regions of Karabakh.

He also expressed satisfaction with the Islamic Republic’s view on Azerbaijan’s proposed regional cooperation plan on peace, he called the proposal in favor of peace and common interests in the region.

Zarif arrived in Baku late on Sunday as part of a regional tour that will also take him to other countries including Russia later.

He and the accompanying delegation were welcomed in Baku International Airport by a number of Azerbaijan political officials and Iran’s Ambassador in Baku Abbas Mousavi.


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Govt proposals to quarantine some arrivals ‘absolutely insufficient’



The leader of Sinn Féin has said the Government needs to introduce mandatory quarantine for all travellers arriving into Ireland.

Mary Lou McDonald described proposals to quarantine those who arrive without a negative Covid-19 test as “absolutely insufficient”.

The Government Covid-19 sub-committee will meet today to discuss the current public health restrictions.

On Tuesday, the Government is to make a decision on whether to extend the health measures in place since last month. Cabinet will also consider the issue of mandatory quarantine for some arrivals, particularly for those who arrive without a negative test.

However, Ms McDonald said these measures do not go far enough.

We need a mandatory enforced quarantine

“If they don’t have a pre-arrival negative test they should be sent back to from whence they came,” she told RTÉ Morning Ireland.

“Secondly, we need a second mandatory test after five days of being on the island and we need a mandatory enforced quarantine.

“It seems that the Government is proposing simply to quarantine those that arrive without a negative test – that is absolutely insufficient.

“I’m very surprised at this stage that they don’t realise – certainly Nphet and the public health experts realise – we have to grasp this nettle now, and it needs to be very, very clear that only essential travel onto the island, and then a mandatory form of quarantine.”

Laissez faire

Ms McDonald said that a mandatory quarantine of 14 days will act as an “effective push back” on travel.

“I think now at this juncture it is absolutely proportionate to ensure that those coming onto the island are tested pre-arrival, tested post-arrival, and that the quarantine isn’t laissez faire, or a matter of just a hit and miss which, let’s be honest, has been the case up to now, that now needs to stop,” she added.

“We need very firm and very secure arrangements. I would be urging the Government to move away from any kind of minimalist notion that quarantine is only for those who arrive without their negative test, it needs to be much more comprehensive than that.

“Of course, it goes without saying, that for this to work it has to be island-wide so that poses now a real challenge for the Government in Dublin to now, very belatedly, use its influence to ensure that the same stringent measures are in place for those arriving in Belfast, or any point of entry, north of the border onto our island.”

Ireland remains in lockdown to help prevent the spread of coronavirus (Niall Carson/PA)

The Government is still advising against all non-essential overseas travel.

All passengers arriving into Ireland are required to produce a negative PCR test within 72 hours of arrival.

Passengers are being asked to give evidence of their negative test before boarding a plane or ferry.


Gardaí install checkpoints on non-essential airpor…

Meanwhile, Labour leader Alan Kelly said gardaí should police the border to prevent non-essential travel.

He also backed the idea of introducing mandatory quarantine for all arrivals.

Mr Kelly said that garda checks should be set up on arterial routes within five kilometres of the border.

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