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Three more players test positive in Senegal camp ahead of AFCON match
9 January 2022, 3:39 PM

Goalkeeper Edouard Mendy and striker Famara Diedhiou will join captain Kalidou Koulibaly on the sidelines for Senegal’s opening match at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cameroon after both tested positive for COVID-19, the country’s football federation said on Sunday.

That leaves Senegal, already hit by six positive cases before they departed for the tournament, with a threadbare squad for their opening Group B clash against Zimbabwe in Bafoussam on Monday.

Koulibaly’s positive test was revealed by his club Napoli on Saturday, who said he was vaccinated and asymptomatic.
The Senegal federation then confirmed the Chelsea goalkeeper and Turkey-based striker, formerly with Bristol City, were in isolation.

Saliou Ciss, Bamba Dieng, Mame Baba Thiam, Pape Matar Sarr, Nampalys Mendy and second choice goalkeeper Alfred Gomis all remained in Dakar on Wednesday after testing positive as the team was to depart for the finals.

Ismaila Sarr, who Senegal insisted join their squad from Watford, is not available because of injury, as is Abdoulaye Seck, leaving coach Aliou Cisse with just 17 players.

“It’s a difficult and complicated situation,” Cisse told a news conference in Bafoussam on Sunday. “But we are going to be competitive and those there are going to play for those who are absent.

“We are still going into the game against Zimbabwe full of confidence.”

The Confederation of African Football has laid down strict rules regarding COVID-19.

If any player tests positive they will not be authorised to go to the stadium or participate in the match, while teams must play as long as they have a minimum of 11 players available If they have no goalkeeper available, another player must play in that position.

Teams that do not have a minimum of 11 players available will be considered to have lost the match 2-0, according to CAF.

UK trade minister to visit India to press on trade, economic ties
9 January 2022, 3:33 PM

British trade minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan will visit India this week to hold talks to try to deepen trade and economic ties as part of London’s push in the Indo-Pacific region, her department said on Sunday.

As part of a two-day visit to New Delhi, Trevelyan will hold bilateral talks with Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal on Thursday on green trade, the removal of market access barriers and other issues.

They are also expected to confirm the launch of official negotiations on a new UK-India free trade deal, the trade department said in a statement.

“The UK and India are already close friends and trading partners, and building on that strong relationship is a priority for 2022,” Trevelyan said in the statement.

“I will be using my visit to drive forward an ambitious trade agenda which represents the UK’s Indo-Pacific tilt in action and shows how we are seizing global opportunities as an independent trading nation.”

Zululand Muncipality wants company’s mining rights revoked after slurry spill into a river
9 January 2022, 2:23 PM

The Zululand District Municipality has called on authorities to revoke anthracite producer ZAC’s mining license.

This after the mine reported that it experienced a spill of slurry material into a river in Okhukho village after the collapse of the dam wall.

The dam capacity is 3183 square metres and it is estimated that half of the stored slurry material spilled into the Mvalo River.

Zululand Municipal spokesperson Zanele Mthethwa, “It must be noted that the municipality is at the core of protecting the environment and people’s health and the municipality has invested more than R30 million into water infrastructure, therefore, we will not allow ZAC to exploit the community of Okhukho by poisoning their water.”

Meanwhile, ZAC says in a statement that immediately after the spill, all pumping to the slurry ponds was stopped.

It says the end wall of the slurry pond was rebuilt and is awaiting a professional engineer’s certification.

The company says it is working with relevant government departments to ensure that all legal requirements are met.

UK’s COVID-19-related deaths surpass 150 000
8 January 2022, 8:43 PM

Britain has recorded more than 150 000 deaths within 28 days of a positive test for COVID-19, according to official figures published on Saturday.

Britain reported 146 390 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, down from 178 250 cases on Friday, while the number of new deaths reported increased to 313 from 229, official figures showed.

Britain has seen a surge of cases linked to the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in recent weeks, though death rates have been lower than during previous waves of the disease.

Some 1.227 million people tested positive for COVID-19 during the past week, 10.6% more than the week before, while the number of deaths was up 38.3% on a week before at 1 271.

Total deaths recorded within 28 days of a positive test for COVID-19 rose to 150 057.

SA records 7 759 new COVID-19 cases
8 January 2022, 7:56 PM

South Africa has recorded  7 759 new COVID-19 cases, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3 521 572.

This increase represents a 19.0% positivity rate

As per the National Department of Health, a further 119 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 92 371 to date. 

Latest SA stats:

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According to the NICD, “The majority of new cases today are from Western Cape (26%), followed by Kwa-Zulu Natal (25%). Gauteng accounted for 20%; Eastern Cape accounted for 11%; Free State, Mpumalanga, North West and Northern Cape each accounted for 4% respectively; and Limpopo accounted for 3%”

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