South African president thanks supporters after positive COVID-19 test

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Dec. 13 (UPI) — South African President Cyril Ramaphosa thanked well wishers on Monday, a day after testing positive for COVID-19.

The country’s official Twitter account said the 69-year-old Ramaphosa remains in good spirits and is recovering, with mild symptoms.

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“Thank you, fellow South Africans, for your good wishes following my COVID-19 positive result,” he wrote. “As I recover, my message of the week is: don’t let your guard down. Do everything you can and need to, to stay safe, beginning with vaccination.”

Ramaphosa is self-isolating in Cape Town. He apparently tested positive after feeling unwell during a ceremony.

“[The] President reiterates his call to everyone in the country to be vaccinated, as vaccination dramatically reduces the chances of serious illness, hospitalization or death,” said Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubelema on Twitter.

Ramaphosa, who was elected in 2018, is fully vaccinated. He was scheduled to receive a booster shot next week, but the government now says that will be postponed.

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“Vaccines dramatically reduce the chances of severe illness, hospitalization and death.Let’s all protect ourselves. Vaccination is free, easy and it works,” Ramaphosa said in a tweet on his personal account.

Ramaphosa returned from a visit to Senegal last week and tested negative in Johannesburg on Dec. 8, according to the government.

Deputy President David Mabuza is serving as the country’s acting president.