Botswana's president in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19
FILE PIC: Botswana's President Mokgweetsi Masisi. /Xinhua

FILE PIC: Botswana's President Mokgweetsi Masisi. /Xinhua

Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi is in mandatory self-isolation after testing positive for COVID-19.

A government spokesperson confirmed that the President's positive result was confirmed in routine testing.

"The president does not have any symptoms and will continue to receive close medical monitoring by his medical doctors," John-Thomas Dipowe, acting permanent secretary for Government Communications, said in a statement.

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 Southern African country since the detection of the Omicron variant late last year, 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.

This is the second time the president is going into isolation. In April 2020, Botswana placed its entire cabinet and MPs in quarantine after a health worker screening legislators for coronavirus was found to be infected with COVID-19.

Screening was conducted on cabinet members and MPs as they arrived at a meeting to discuss a request by President Mokgweetsi Masisi for an extended state of emergency.

(With input from agencies)

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