South Africa’s president in quarantine as coronavirus cases rise

Cyril Ramaphosa, © PA Archive/PA Images
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By Mogomotsi Magome, Associated Press

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa has announced he has gone into quarantine after coming into contact with a dinner guest who has tested positive for Covid-19.

Mr Ramaphosa came into contact with a guest at a dinner of 35 people in Johannesburg last weekend, the president’s spokesman said.

“The event adhered stringently to Covid-19 protocols and directives on screening, social distancing and the wearing of masks,” the spokesman said. “As was the case with all guests, the president himself removed his mask only when dining and addressing the guests.”

Mr Ramaphosa is not showing any symptoms and is working at home, and the guest who tested positive is getting medical care, he added.

Mr Ramaphosa learned of his possible exposure on Tuesday night, after he had unveiled a statue at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International airport and later answered questions from parliament in an online briefing.


His quarantine comes as South Africa is experiencing a rise Covid-19 cases.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases has risen over the past two weeks from 2.72 new cases per 100,000 people on October 13 to 2.78 new cases per 100,000 people on October 27.

South Africa reported 1,092 new infections and 48 deaths recorded in the last 24 hours.

However, South Africa’s seven-day rolling average of daily deaths has decreased over the past two weeks, going from 0.22 deaths per 100,000 people on October 13 to 0.10 deaths per 100,000 people on October 27.

With nearly 718,000 cumulative confirmed cases, South Africa accounts for more than 40% of all the more than 1.7 million cases reported by Africa’s 54 countries, representing a population of 1.3 billion people.

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