As more countries impose travel bans on African countries over another strain of coronavirus, Omicron, South Africa, President, Cyril Ramaphosa, has been isolated after testing positive for Covid-19.
Ramaphosa, it was learnt, was isolated started feeling unwell on his way home after leaving a state memorial service for the former deputy president, Frederik de Klerk.
Through a statement released by the presidency on Sunday, the South African leader, who left the event in Cape Town, has started receiving treatment for mild symptoms.
According to the statement, the president was in good spirits and being monitored by medical experts to prevent the further spread of the virus.
He would remain in self-isolation in Cape Town for the time being and had delegated all responsibilities to Deputy President, David Mabuza, for the next week while he undergo treatments.
On a recent visit to four West African states, the president and the entire South African delegation were tested for Covid-19 in all countries, the statement said.
“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.”
The statement quoted Ramaphosa as saying that his own infection served as a warning to all citizens of the importance of getting vaccinated and remaining vigilant against exposure.
“Vaccination remains the best protection against severe illness and hospitalisation. People who have had contact with the president today are advised to watch for symptoms or to have themselves tested,” it added.
The highly mutated Omicron variant was first detected in South Africa last month and sparked global panic over fears that it is more contagious than other variants.
It has not yet become fully clear, however, if it causes more severe illness or if, or to what it extent, it can evade vaccines.