President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa has tested positive for COVID-19, two weeks after visiting Nigeria.
President Muhammadu Buhari welcomed his South African counterpart to Nigeria for the 10th Session of the Nigeria-South Africa Bi-National Commission, on December 1, 2021.
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The visit took place on a day Nigeria confirmed three cases of the Omicron COVID variant that is causing ripples across the world at the moment.
At the end of the meeting, Buhari had said, ”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.”
The Nigerian president subsequently proceeded on a trip to the United Arab Emirates for Dubai EXPO 2020 while Ramaphosa headed for neighbouring West African nations.
According to a statement issued by South African presidency, Ramaphosa ended his trip to West Africa five days ago.
The statement said the president and all those who accompanied him were certified COVID-free during the trips and even when they returned to South 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 president also tested negative on his return to Johannesburg on 8 December,” the statement read.
Although fully vaccinated, South African president reportedly started feeling sick after attending the memorial service for former deputy president F W de Klerk in Cape Town.
He is said to have shown mild COVID symptoms and he is currently being treated.
Ramaphosa, who would remain in self-isolation in Cape Town, has delegated all responsibilities to Deputy President David Mabuza for the next week.
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,” the statement said.
“People who have had contact with the president today are advised to watch for symptoms or to have themselves tested,” it added.