Cyril Ramaphosa tests negative for Covid-19
The president took the test as a precautionary measure, after being in contact with a church leader, some of whose members are positive
President Cyril Ramaphosa has tested negative for the Covid-19 virus, the presidency said on Thursday.
Ramaphosa was tested as a precautionary measure on Tuesday, following the advice of his physician. He received his results last night, presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko said.
“As head of state and chair of the National Command Council (NCC), the president has a rigorous public engagement schedule and has, during the course of the past few weeks, held numerous meetings with a wide cross-section of people from all walks of life,” she said.
Last week, it came to light that African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) leader Kenneth Meshoe had attended a church gathering in Bloemfontein earlier this month, after which five of the participants had tested positive for the Covid-19.
Ramaphosa had been in contact with Meshoe, when he met with leaders of opposition political parties following the declaration of a national state of disaster. Meshoe, who has been asymptomatic since his participation in that gathering, announced on social media on March 22 that he had been tested.
The presidency, at the time, welcomed Meshoe’s adherence to testing and said Ramaphosa was in good health, that there was no cause for concern about his healt,h and that there was no need for the president to be tested.
On Thursday, Diko said the presidency deemed it necessary to make Ramaphosa’s test results public to reassure the nation that he is in good health and continuing with his duties.
In line with international guidelines, as well as those of the national department of health, testing is recommended if you experience symptoms; if you live in or recently travelled to an area with cases of Covid-19; or if you have been in close contact with someone known to have the coronavirus.
At midnight on Thursday, SA will start a 21-day national lockdown to try to curb the spread of the virus.
There have been no new infection figures released as yet, but on Wednesday SA’s infection count, excluding recoveries, was at 709, with all nine provinces affected.