JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – President Cyril Ramaphosa was tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday, according to the office of the presidency, and is receiving treatment for mild symptoms.
On Sunday, Ramaphosa, who is fully vaccinated, fell ill after attending a memorial service for former South African president F W de Klerk in Cape Town, the report stated.
‘The 69-year-old leader is now self-isolating in Cape Town and under the care of the South African Military Health Service,’ it said.
Deputy President David Mabuza has been entrusted with all responsibilities for the next week.
As of yesterday, the presidency had not disclosed whether Ramaphosa was infected with the Omicron variant of Coronavirus.
Global panic has ensued over fears that the highly mutated variant, which was discovered in South Africa last month, is more contagious than other strains of the Coronavirus.
It was reported that Ramaphosa and his team were tested multiple times for COVID-19 last week during visits to four West African countries.
Several members of the president’s delegation tested positive in Nigeria and returned directly to South Africa. The rest of Ramaphosa’s delegation did not exhibit signs of infection.
Having obtained negative test results, the president and the delegation returned to South Africa from Senegal on Wednesday, December 8, 2021.
In addition, on December 8, the president tested negative upon his return to Johannesburg.
According to the statement, Ramaphosa cited his own infection as a warning to all citizens to get vaccinated and remain vigilant.
“Vaccination remains the best protection against severe illness and hospitalisation,” the statement said.
“Persons who have had contact with the president today have been advised to watch for symptoms or to have themselves tested,” it added.
According to health officials, South Africa is experiencing a rapid resurgence of the Omicron variant.
South Africa recorded about 200 new cases in November, but infection numbers began to rise dramatically soon after.
On Sunday alone, an estimated 18,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported in the country.
According to genetic sequencing surveys, it is estimated that 70 percent of the cases are from Omicron.
Among the cases that have been reported, doctors say the majority are mild and the percentage of severe cases that need oxygen is low.