Close on the heels of the emergence of the so-called Omicron variant of COVID-19 in South Africa comes news that the country’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to Reuters.
The Washington Times noted that Ramaphosa, 69, received a positive test result on Sunday, but remains in good spirits and plans to let others handle his official duties for the rest of this week.
According to ABC News, Ramaphosa – who is reportedly fully vaccinated – is in self-isolation in Cape Town and is under the care of physicians from the South African Military Health Service.
It is believed that the South African president began feeling under the weather on the day of his diagnosis, after having attended a memorial event for late Deputy President F.W. De Klerk.
Just last week, Ramaphosa traveled to four different countries in West Africa, and while some of those in his party tested positive for COVID-19 while in Nigeria, the president himself continued to test negative for the duration of the trip.
Given a recent uptick in coronavirus cases across South Africa over the past month and because of his own infection, Ramaphosa cautioned the citizenry in his country to seek vaccination and to take precautions against unnecessary exposure, ABC News added.
“As I recover, my message of the week is: don’t let your guard down. Do everything you can and need to, to stay safe, beginning with vaccination,” Ramaphosa posted to social media following his positive test result, adding, “Let’s all protect ourselves.”
Anyone who was in contact with President Ramaphosa on Sunday or in days immediately prior has been advised by the government to be on the lookout for symptoms of COVID-19 and/or seek testing.
With any luck, Ramaphosa’s symptoms will remain mild, and he will achieve a full recovery sooner rather than later.