Dec 12, 2021 - Health

South Africa's president tests positive for COVID

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa walks past a photo of former South African President FW de Klerk at de Klerk's state memorial service

Cyril Ramaphosa walks past a photo of former South African President FW de Klerk at de Klerk's state memorial service on Dec. 12. Photo: Rodger Bosch/AFP via Getty Images

South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday and is being treated for "mild" symptoms, his office announced.

Driving the news: The government's statement did not specify whether the president has the Omicron variant though it did note that Ramaphosa, 69, is fully vaccinated and remains in "good spirits" as he self-isolates in Cape Town.

  • "The President started feeling unwell after leaving the State Memorial Service" for former President F.W. de Klerk in Cape Town earlier on Sunday, the statement read.
  • Deputy President David Mabuza will be taking over Ramaphosa's responsibilities for the next week.

The big picture: COVID-19 cases in South Africa have surged in recent weeks following the discovery of the Omicron variant.

  • New data from South Africa and Europe indicates the new variant is also spreading widely among vaccinated individuals.
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