South African head of state Cyril Ramaphosa tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday and placed in isolation, the presidency announced.

"President Cyril Ramaphosa is receiving treatment for mild symptoms of Covid-19," the presidency said late in the evening in a statement, without specifying whether it was the new Omicron variant, detected last month in South Africa. South.

Many unknowns still hover over the nature of this new form of the virus which has many mutations, but according to the first observations of scientists, it is more contagious. Researchers are still working on the effectiveness of vaccines. In isolation in Cape Town, in the south of the country, the responsibilities of the Head of State "have been delegated to Vice-President David Mabuza for the coming week," said the presidency.

The president attended an official ceremony earlier today

"The president began to feel bad after leaving the official ceremony in Cape Town earlier in the day in tribute" to former President Frederik de Klerk who died in November, the statement said. Cyril Ramaphosa took part in the morning tribute which brought together around 200 people in a church in Cape Town. "Today's ceremony took place in compliance with health rules," assured the presidency, adding, however, that people who have been in contact with the president are invited to watch for the appearance of symptoms or to get tested.

The 69-year-old head of state, who is fully vaccinated, is being monitored by the army's health services.

Cyril Ramaphosa recently made an official visit to four West African countries, during which he underwent regular tests.

When he returned to South Africa on December 8, he had tested negative.

"President Ramaphosa wants his own infection to serve as a warning to all residents of the country to get vaccinated and remain vigilant," the statement said.

The Omicron variant is now the source of the vast majority of contaminations in the country, which has experienced an exponential increase in cases since its appearance.

South Africa is officially the African country most affected by the pandemic.

The country has more than 3.1 million infections including more than 90,000 deaths.

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