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South Africa President Ramaphosa Tests Positive for COVID-19

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa greets Elita de Klerk, widow of former President FW de Klerk at the state memorial service in Cape Town, South Africa, Dec. 12, 2021.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is receiving treatment for mild COVID-19 symptoms after testing positive for the viral infection today.

In a statement posted on the presidential website, the Minister in the Office of the President, Mondli Gungubele, said Ramaphosa started feeling unwell after leaving the State Memorial Service in honour of former President FW de Klerk in Cape Town earlier on Sunday.

Gungubele said Ramaphosa is in good spirits but is being monitored by the South African Military Health Service of the South African National Defence Force.

Gungubele said Ramaphosa, who is fully vaccinated, is in self-isolation in Cape Town and has delegated all responsibilities to Deputy President, David Mabuza, for the next week.

“On his recent visit to four West African states, President Ramaphosa and the South African delegation were tested for COVID-19 in all countries. The President and the delegation returned to South Africa from the Republic of Senegal on Wednesday, 8 December 2021, after obtaining negative test results. The President also tested negative on his return to Johannesburg on 8 December.

“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.”

Gungubele said vaccination remains the best protection against severe illness and hospitalisation.

He said people, who have had contact with the president today, are advised to watch for symptoms or to have themselves tested.

South Africa recorded 203,945 COVID-19 cases and 640 deaths in the last 28 days, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The university reports that 3.2 million South Africans have contracted COVID-19 since March last year. More than 90,000 locals have succumbed to the disease.

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