JUST IN: Ramaphosa tests negative for Covid-19

Johannesburg – President Cyril Ramaphosa has tested negative for the coronavirus, the presidency said on Thursday. 

Ramaphosa had  undergone testing for the Covid-19 virus following advice from his doctor. 

The presidency said it was decided to make Ramaphosa’s results public to assure the public that he was fit and continuing with his duties. 

“The President submitted for testing as a precautionary measure upon the advice of his physicians on Tuesday 24th March 2020 and received his results last night,” the presidency said. 

“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. 

“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.”

South Africans will head into a national lockdown at midnight as part of the government’s attempts to flatten the curve of the Covid-19 coronavirus. All businesses expect for essential services will be closed. 

Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize said there were 705 confirmed cases of the virus as on Thursday. He said the numbers were expected to rise as more tests were conducted. 

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