South African president tests positive for COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to play out, a growing number of infections are being seen among those who are fully vaccinated, around the world.

They include some high-profile names, with The Washington Times reporting this week that South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has tested positive for COVID-19. 

“As I recover, my message of the week is: don’t let your guard down,” the South African leader said in a Sunday tweet.

How did it happen?

“Do everything you can and need to, to stay safe, beginning with vaccination,” President Ramaphosa said. “Let’s all protect ourselves. Vaccination is free, easy and it works.”

According to the Times, Ramaphosa initially tested negative for the virus on Dec. 8 after making his return from a trip to Senegal.

However, he soon began to exhibit signs of drowsiness over the weekend following attendance at a state funeral for former South African Deputy President F.W. de Klerk.

Self-isolating

Ramaphosa is said to now be self-isolating and has temporarily relinquished his official duties to Deputy President David Mabuza for the remainder of the week.

The United States has also seen politicians contract COVID-19 despite having been fully vaccinated. Fox News reported in October that Pennsylvania Rep. Glenn Thompson (R) had tested positive.

A statement released by Thompson’s office explained that he was being treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland “out of an abundance of caution.”

Sharp increase

Meanwhile, the Boston Herald revealed on Tuesday that 11,431 breakthrough cases were seen in Massachusetts last week, representing an average of 1,633 cases a day.

That total was over a hundred more than had been documented the week prior. The state saw only 6,610 breakthrough infections a week before that, suggesting the infection rate is in a sharp, upward trajectory.

That increase is believed to be due in part to a waning of vaccine efficacy, leading authorities to promote the use of booster shots for those who have already been vaccinated. Of the over 100,000 breakthrough cases in Massachusetts, 2,966 have required hospitalization while another 699 have died.

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