South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa tests positive for Covid-19

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa has tested positive for Covid, his office has said.

He was tested on Sunday after feeling unwell and is being treated for mild symptoms, the presidency added in a statement.Cyril Ramaphosa visited four other nations last week - REUTERS

Cyril Ramaphosa

Mr Ramaphosa is self-isolating in Cape Town and is being monitored by the South African Military Health Service. He has delegated all responsibilities to deputy president David Mabuza for the next week.

Mr Ramaphosa, 69, is fully vaccinated. His office’s statement did not say whether he had been infected with the omicron variant, which was first detected in South Africa.

The South African president visited four West African countries last week. He and all members of his delegation were tested for Covid-19 in each of the countries during the trip. Some in the delegation tested positive in Nigeria and returned directly to South Africa. Throughout the rest of the trip, Mr Ramaphosa and his delegation tested negative. He returned to South Africa from Senegal on 8 December.

The president said his own infection serves as a caution to all people in South Africa to be vaccinated and remain vigilant against exposure, the statement said. It stressed that vaccination remains the best protection against severe illness and hospital admission.

People in South Africa who have had contact with Mr Ramaphosa on Sunday were advised to watch for symptoms or to have themselves tested.

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