Cyril Ramaphosa has gone into quarantine after a dinner where one of the guests tested positive for COVID-19. The dinner had 35 guests and stuck to strict physical distancing protocols, Reuters has learned.
For the South African leader, the recent charity dinner transforms into the self-isolation. After President Ramaphosa attended an event, one of 35 guests was tested positive for the novel pathogen, the presidential office confirmed on Wednesday.
“President Cyril Ramaphosa has begun a period of self-quarantine following the positive COVID-19 diagnosis of a guest at a dinner attended by the President on Saturday, 24th October, 2020,” the statement from his office said.
South Africa, the most advanced continent’s economy, has suffered hardly from the coronavirus. as of Wednesday, the country has more than 700,000 coronavirus infections and nearly 20,000 deaths. As the health experts say, new cases peaked in late July before falling sharply.
According to the presidential office, Mr Ramaphosa is showing no symptoms at this time and will be tested should symptoms manifest.
South African scientists are looking for antivirus drug
Despite the peak in the coronavirus cases, the leading scientists in South Africa believe the country has established a form of collective or herd immunity to COVID-19. Professor Shabir Mahdi, a vaccinologist, has commented on a series of studies revealing the existence of high infection rates in the provinces of Western Cape and Gauteng. He believed the novel infection had stimulated a level of immunity in approximately 12 to 15 million people.
“What has happened in SA today, the only way to explain it, the only plausible way to explain it is that some sort of herd immunity has been reached when combined with the use of non-pharmaceutical interventions… like the wearing of masks, physical distancing, ensuring ventilation when indoors and so on,” Professor Mahdi said.
Meantime, South Africa was ranked as the world’s fifth most-affected country. It follows the United States, India, Brazil and Russia – all of which have much larger populations.
It was at this point that researchers based in Cape Town began testing for traces of the virus in blood samples provided at local clinics by a pregnant woman and HIV patients.