No need for Ramaphosa to re-test for COVID-19, says Mthembu

No need for Ramaphosa to re-test for COVID-19, says Mthembu

President Cyril Ramaphosa will not test a second time for the COVID-19 Coronavirus.

President Cyril Ramaphosa in a picture with political leaders including ACDP leader REV Kenneth Meshoe
Twitter/Emmanuel Moraba

This comes after news broke that African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) leader Reverend Kenneth Meshoe had tested positive for COVID-19.

Ramaphosa had been in contact with Meshoe when he met with leaders of opposition political parties following the declaration of a national state of disaster. 

Ramaphosa was advised to go for testing following rigorous public engagements scheduled over the past few weeks during which he held numerous meetings with a wide cross-section of people from all walks of life, including Meshoe.

Amid the growing concerns, the president underwent testing days after he declared a 21-day lockdown and was given a clean bill of health.


Coronavirus death toll revised down to 1

The news came as World Health Organisation director for Africa warned of a "dramatic evolution" of the disease which has, according to AFP tally, killed 94 out of nearly 3,500 infected people across the world's poorest continent. South Africa, which has the highest number of confirmed cases at 1,170, recorded its first death on Friday.

During the inter-ministerial briefing in Pretoria on Friday, Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu said the first test was sufficient and that there is no need for the President to undergo another test.

“I said the President would be advised by his physicians and also by the minister of Health. I have now been informed that indeed he has been advised that since he tested negative, after taking a test knowing very well that he had been in contact with Reverend Meshoe and at the time Reverend Meshoe had been in contact with people who had tested positive,” Mthembu explained.

“The advisers, all of them, agree that there is no need for the President to take another test now.”

Mthembu added: “If he were to take such a test, that test would not make any difference from the test that he has already taken therefore the President considers the matter closed.”

Party MP Steve Swart also tested positive for COVID-19.

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