South African President tests positive for COVID-19 as cases soar

The country’s president as COVID-19 cases soar, sparking concerns fresh restrictions are on the horizon.

Hours after his address at Former President FW de Klerk’s memorial celebration, the country’s President Cyril Ramaphosa’s ministry of the presidency confirmed the country’s leader had tested positive for COVID-19. While it was confirmed the president, who’s been fully vaccinated, was experiencing mild symptoms, it served as a reminder that any citizen was equally prone to contracting the virus. “On his recent visit to four West African states, President Ramaphosa and the South African delegation were tested for Covid-19 in all countries,” said Mondli Gungubele, Minister in the Presidency. “The President and the delegation returned to South Africa from the Republic of Senegal on Wednesday 8 December after obtaining negative test results. The President also tested negative on his return to Johannesburg on 8 December,” added Gungubele.

For the past 24 hours leading to the 13th of December, the country confirmed 13,288 new cases, representing a 31.0% positivity rate. With 11 deaths reported for the period, the country’s death toll to date reached 90,148. Gauteng accounted for the bulk of cases, with 6,711 new cases followed by KwaZulu-Natal with 2,715 cases and the Western Cape with 1,464 new infections. The day before, the country reported 37,875 new cases, with 18,035 being for the 24-hour period leading up to Sunday, and the balance being retrospective cases that were not included in earlier totals, according to data from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases. The figure represented a 28.9% positivity rate, confirming concerns the country will likely have a gloomy festive season as concerns about a fourth wave dominate headlines.