South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has tested positive for COVID-19 after exhibiting mild symptoms.
Ramaphosa was said to have felt unwell on Sunday after leaving a memorial service for FW de Klerk, the former South African deputy president, in Cape Town.
According to a statement issued by the South African presidency, Ramaphosa is “in good spirits” and is being monitored by doctors.
The South African president, who is fully vaccinated, is expected to remain in self-isolation and has assigned his responsibilities to David Mabuza, the deputy president.
Ramaphosa was quoted as saying that his positive status is further indication that vaccination is pertinent.
“Vaccination remains the best protection against severe illness and hospitalisation,” the statement reads.
“People who have had contact with the president today are advised to watch for symptoms or to have themselves tested.”
The South African presidency said Ramaphosa and his delegation were tested for COVID-19 after returning from a four-country visit to West Africa.
“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 statement reads.
“The president also tested negative on his return to Johannesburg on 8 December.”
President Muhammadu Buhari received the South African president on December 1 at the presidential villa in Abuja.
His visit was on the same day that Nigeria reported three cases of the Omicron COVID variant.
“Despite the scare generated by the new COVID-19 variant, we have been able to hold successful meetings, while observing strict COVID-19 protocols, through fraternal cooperation and understanding,” Buhari said after the meeting.