Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi is in mandatory self-isolation after testing positive for COVID-19 in routine testing, a government spokesperson said Monday.
In a statement, John-Thomas Dipowe, acting permanent secretary for government communications, said:
The president does not have any symptoms and will continue to receive close medical monitoring by his doctors.
Vice President Slumber Tsogwane will assume the president’s responsibilities until further notice while Masisi is in isolation, Dipowe said.
New coronavirus infections have risen sharply in the diamond-rich country since the detection of the Omicron variant in November 2021, to an average of 2 500 every three days from under 300 over the same period before Omicron.
But health officials say hospitalisations have not spiked.
Botswana has managed to fully vaccinate 71% of its eligible population of about 1.3 million people.
Health officials said on December 29 that Botswana would start to administer booster doses while the age limit for vaccination was reduced to 12 years from 18 years.