Daily Covid-19 update: 12,710 new cases identified in SA and UK variant spreads to 60 countries

A woman selling clothes along a busy street in Olievenhoutbosch can be seen wearing a mask to prevent contracting Covid-19, 21 August 2020. Picture: Jacques Nelles

566 more Covid-19 related deaths were reported.

As of Wednesday, 20 January 2021, the cumulative number of detected Covid-19 cases is 1,369,426 with 12,710 new cases identified, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has confirmed.

566 more Covid-19 related deaths were reported, with 104 from Eastern Cape, 46 from Free State, 80 from Gauteng, 218 from Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN), 6 from Mpumalanga, 8 from Northern Cape and 104 from Western Cape.

This brings the total number of Covid-19 related deaths to 38,854.

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“We convey our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thank the health workers that treated the deceased,” the minister said.

Recoveries now stand at 1,160,412 representing a recovery rate of 84,7%.

Meanwhile, a total of 7,762,073 tests have been completed with 62,054 new tests conducted since the last report.


Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

British virus goes global

The World Health Organization says the British virus strain has spread to at least 60 countries, 10 more than a week ago.

And the South African variant – which similarly is believed to be more contagious – has been reported in 23 countries and territories.

Strain hits Beijing

Some 1.6 million people are banned from leaving the Chinese capital as two cases linked to the British virus variant are found.

Germany tightens shutdown

Germany toughens a partial lockdown and extends it to February 14, with Chancellor Angela Merkel warning of possible border checks to contain “the danger” of new variants.

India’s vaccine pride

India exports its first batch of locally produced shots, with the Maldives and Bhutan set to be the first takers.

Brazil and South Africa are among those on the waiting list.

Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar says the “Pharmacy of the World will deliver to overcome” Covid.

Shots before Olympics

Japan aims to start vaccinating the general public in May – just two months before the postponed Olympics are due to open – following targeted jabs for the most vulnerable, according to media reports.

Two million plus dead

At least 2,058,226 people have died of the virus since it first emerged in China in late 2019, according to a tally compiled by AFP on Wednesday based on official figures.

The US has suffered the highest death toll with 401,777 fatalities, followed by Brazil with 211,491 and India 152,718.

The number of deaths globally is broadly under-estimated. The toll is calculated from daily figures published by national health authorities and does not include later revisions by statistics agencies.

Netflix lockdown boom

With people stuck at home during lockdowns, Netflix reports stronger than expected growth in the past quarter despite price hikes, adding some 8.5 million subscribers, mostly outside the US.

It now has 203 million worldwide.

Push-up punishment

Foreigners caught not wearing face masks on the Indonesian resort island of Bali are being subject to an unusual punishment — push-ups.

Video footage circulating on social media this week shows tourists in T-shirts and shorts being made to do the exercise in sweltering heat as masked security officials stand over them.


READ MORE: Why Cabinet decided to delay schools’ opening to 15 February

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