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Fully vaccinated South African president tests positive for COVID-19, mildly ill

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is receiving treatment for mild COVID-19 symptoms after testing positive for the disease Sunday, his office said.

Ramaphosa started feeling unwell and a test confirmed COVID-19, a statement from the presidency announced.

He is self-isolating in Cape Town and is being monitored by the South African Military Health Service, the statement said. He has delegated all responsibilities to Deputy President David Mabuza for the next week.

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Ramaphosa, 69, is fully vaccinated. The statement didn’t say whether he had been infected with the omicron coronavirus variant.

Last week, Ramaphosa visited four West African countries. He and all members of his delegation were tested for COVID-19 in each of the countries during the trip. Some in the delegation tested positive in Nigeria and returned directly to South Africa. Throughout the rest of the trip, Ramaphosa and his delegation tested negative. Ramaphosa returned from Senegal on Dec. 8

Ramaphosa said his own infection serves as a caution to all people in South Africa to be vaccinated and remain vigilant against exposure, the statement said. Vaccination remains the best protection against severe illness and hospitalization, it said.

People in South Africa who have had contact with Ramaphosa on Sunday are advised to watch for symptoms or to have themselves tested, it said.

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