Amidst the pandemic, millions of South Africans from all walks of life have found themselves under threat of the COVID-19 virus—even the South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa.
According to a statement issued on 28 October 2020, by Acting Spokesperson to the President, Tyrone Seale, President Ramaphosa has begun a period of self-quarantine. This follows the positive COVID-19 diagnosis of a guest at a dinner attended by the President on Saturday, 24 October 2020.
Seale explains Ramaphosa attended a fundraising dinner of the Adopt-a-School Foundation. The foundation is a partner entity of the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation. The event for 35 guests was held at a Johannesburg hotel, where Foundation guests were apparently the only people hosted by the establishment.
The event adhered stringently to COVID-19 protocols and directives on screening, social distancing and the wearing of masks. However, as was the case with all guests, the President removed his mask when dining and addressing the guests.
The Adopt-a-School Foundation advised dinner guests on Tuesday, 27 October 2020, that a guest had shown symptoms on Sunday. The guest was then tested on Monday before receiving a positive result on Tuesday.
Seale explains, “The Foundation became aware of this development and communicated this to guests yesterday, hours after the President had performed the unveiling of a statue of liberation icon OR Tambo and the official opening of a new Radisson hotel and convention centre in Ekurhuleni in the morning.”
The President is being screened regularly by the South African Military Health Service. He is also subjecting himself to screening at venues, where he participates in engagements.
Currently, Ramaphosa is showing no symptoms. However, the presidency states that in line with COVID-19 health advice, he will be tested should symptoms manifest. The President will perform his duties remotely and will observe the guidelines that apply to self-quarantine.
Author: Quinton Boucher
Edited: Calvin Swemmer