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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa tests positive for COVID-19

Published 5 months ago
By Yeshiel Panchia

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has tested positive for COVID-19 amidst a rising fourth wave of infections in the country.  

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has tested positive for COVID-19 and is receiving treatment for mild symptoms, according to a press release issued by the Presidency.  

“The president is in good spirits but is being monitored by the South African Military Health Service of the South African National Defence Force” said Minister of the Presidency Mondli Gungubele.  

Ramaphosa reportedly began feeling unwell after having attended the state memorial service of former South African President FW de Klerk in Cape Town earlier in the weekend. Ramaphosa had also recently been on a tour of four West African states, where the delegation had been tested regularly, including on their return to South Africa. 

However, the presidency has encouraged all persons who had contact with Ramaphosa during the memorial service to watch for symptoms and get tested. 

“Today’s proceedings in Cape Town were undertaken in compliance with health regulations pertaining to hand hygiene, the wearing of face masks and social distancing… President Ramaphosa says his own infection serves as a caution to all people in the country to be vaccinated and remain vigilant against exposure” said the presidency in a statement. 

The President is now in isolation and has handed over his duties to Deputy President David Mabuza for the week – Ramaphosa’s positive results coming amidst a striking fourth wave of infections in South Africa and the recent discovery of the Omicron variant, with 18 035 new daily cases recorded as of Sunday, and an additional 19 840 retrospective cases which had not been previously counted in daily totals previously.*

*An earlier version of this story erroneously reported the new daily total number of cases as 37 875, which included both the daily cases and retrospective cases together – the article has been corrected to reflect these separately.

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