- The Washington Times - Monday, December 13, 2021

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa tested positive for the coronavirus late Sunday, but is in “good spirits” and will delegate his duties for the rest of the week as the country battles the fast-moving omicron variant.

Mr. Ramaphosa started to feel lousy after a state memorial service for the late Deputy President F.W. de Klerk in Cape Town earlier in the day.

It is unclear how and when the president was infected, or if it is the omicron variant, but Mr. Ramaphosa, who is vaccinated against COVID-19, will self-isolate while Deputy President David Mabuza takes over this week.

“As I recover, my message of the week is: don’t let your guard down. Do everything you can and need to, to stay safe, beginning with vaccination,” Mr. Ramaphosa tweeted. “Let’s all protect ourselves. Vaccination is free, easy and it works.”

Mr. Ramaphosa recently took a trip to West Africa but tested negative on Dec. 8 after returning from Senegal.

South Africa has seen an exponential spike in coronavirus cases over the past month, from a few hundred per day to tens of thousands of daily cases. Scientists in the nation first detected the fast-moving omicron variant that has popped up around the world.

For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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