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South African president has breakthrough COVID case with mild symptoms

The president reportedly was vaccinated but experienced a breakthrough case. He "is in good spirits but is being monitored," according to a press release.

Published: December 12, 2021 5:00pm

Updated: December 12, 2021 5:09pm

South African President Cyril Ramaposa tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, according to reports. He is experiencing mild symptoms and is currently receiving treatment. 

Ramaposa began to feel sick after leaving a memorial service for former President Frederik Willem de Klerk, who passed away last month and is remembered for helping dismantle apartheid while in office.

"The President is in good spirits but is being monitored by the South African Military Health Service of the South African National Defence Force," a press release from the South African government states.

Ramaposa joins the list of other world leaders who have tested positive for COVID-19, such as U.S. President Donald Trump, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, U.K. Prime Minister Borris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Ukrainian leader Alexander Lukashenko. 

Ramaposa was vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and he last tested negative for the virus on Wednesday. 

Encouraging vaccination, "President Ramaphosa says his own infection serves as a caution to all people in the country to be vaccinated and remain vigilant against exposure. Vaccination remains the best protection against severe illness and hospitalisation."

The newest COVID-19 variant Omicron emerged from South Africa last month. Symptoms are mild so far, and no deaths have been linked to the variant as of last week.

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