The Presidency has moved to reassure South Africans that there is no cause for concern about President Cyril Ramaphosa’s health.
In a statement on Sunday evening, the Presidency welcomed African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) leader Rev Kenneth Meshoe’s announcement that he has been tested for coronavirus (COVID-19).
Meshoe was among political party leaders with whom Ramaphosa held a consultative meeting in Cape Town on Tuesday last week (17 March).
‘No cause for concern’
He decided to get tested after five people who attended the Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast hosted by the Divine Restoration Ministries in Bloemfontein, which he also attended, tested positive for coronavirus. The Prayer Breakfast was held on 10-11 March.
The Presidency said, “The Presidency welcomes Rev Meshoe’s adherence to the testing protocol and wishes him well as he awaits his results.
“The President himself is in good health and is observing the announced protocols as stringently as he can while performing his duties.
“At this point in time there is no cause for concern about the President’s health or reason for the President to be tested. To the best of the President’s knowledge, no person with whom he has recently had contact – including Rev Meshoe – has symptoms of or tested positive for the virus.”
I have no symptoms – Meshoe
In a Twitter post on Sunday, Meshoe said he decided to get tested even though he has no symptoms of COVID-19.
He added, “The officials that came were very professional and respectful. After the testing one of them said, ‘You don’t look like you have the virus; you look strong and healthy for your age.'”
The five people who tested positive are all tourists. Two are from the United States, two from Israel and one from France. They arrived in South Africa between 9 and 11 March.
An update from Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize last week indicated that more than 200 people attended the Prayer Breakfast.
Ramaphosa was meant to address the nation on Sunday, but the address was postponed to Monday because the National Command Council was still meeting.
As of Saturday, South Africa had a total of 240 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with Gauteng, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal having the majority of cases.