Ramaphosa tests negative for COVID-19 as South Africa prepares to go into lockdown

FILE PHOTO: South African President and AU Chairperson Cyril Ramaphosa. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham -/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his State of the Nation address at parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, February 13, 2020. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham -/File Photo

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has tested negative for coronavirus, the presidency said in a statement on Thursday.

“The president submitted for testing as a precautionary measure upon the advice of physicians on Tuesday 24th March 2020 and received his results last night,” the statement said, adding he had held meetings with a variety of people in recent weeks.

Meanwhile South Africans prepare to go into lockdown as from tonight with corona virus cases jumping to 709

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize on state television pointed out “intense local spread” in Free State province among attendees of a church gathering where five cases were reported. All five in people who had recently traveled abroad. Now almost 30 cases have been recorded.