South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has tested negative for the novel coronavirus (Covid-19), his office said on Thursday.
Ramaphosa submitted for testing as a precautionary measure on the advice of his physicians on Tuesday, his spokesperson Khusela Diko said, adding that the president received his negative result on Wednesday night.
"As Head of State and Chair of the National Command Council (NCC) the president has a rigorous public engagements schedule; and has, during the course of the last few weeks, held numerous meetings with a wide cross section of people from all walks of life," Diko said in a statement.
"In line with international guidelines as well as those of the national department of health testing is recommended if you experience symptoms, if you live in or recently travelled to an area with ongoing spread of Covid-19 or if you have been in close contact with someone known to have Covid-19. The presidency has deemed it necessary to make the test results public to reassure the nation that the president is in good health and continues with his duties."
On Wednesday, the health department announced that South Africa had no confirmed deaths, but had 709 confirmed cases of Covid-19, of which two were in a critical condition in intensive care, while four had fully recovered.
Gauteng province had the highest number of cases at 366, followed by 191 in the Western Cape, 91 in KwaZulu-Natal, 33 in Free State, nine in Mpumalanga, five in North West, four in Limpopo, two each in the Northern Cape and Eastern Cape, while six cases were in unknown locations in the country.