South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is fully vaccinated, tested positive for Covid-19 Sunday and is under treatment. The 69-year-old is experiencing mild symptoms. He has delegated all responsibilities to Deputy President David Mabuza for the next week. Ramaphosa is self-isolating in Cape Town and is monitored by the South African Military Health Service of the South African National Defence Force. People in South Africa who have had contact with Ramaphosa on Sunday are advised to watch for symptoms or to have themselves tested. In a tweet Monday, Ramaphosa thanked South Africans for their good wishes and warned citizens to remain vigilant in the fight against the virus.
“Vaccines dramatically reduce the chances of severe illness, hospitalisation and death. Let’s all protect ourselves. Vaccination is free, easy and it works,” he reinforced. At this time, just over 25% of the country has been fully vaccinated, with an additional 5% partially vaccinated. The Presidency statement didn’t say whether Ramaphosa had been infected with the omicron coronavirus variant. The country recorded more than 18,000 new confirmed cases Sunday night. More than 70% of the cases are estimated to be from omicron. Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine has been less effective in South Africa at keeping people infected with the virus out of hospital since the Omicron variant emerged last month, a real-world study published on Tuesday showed. South Africa alerted the world to Omicron in November.