Botswana President Isolating After Testing Positive for Coronavirus

Outside court in Blantyre, Malawi, protesters call for the government not to implement a Covid-19 vaccine requirement.

Gaborone, Botswana — Officials in Botswana on Monday announced President Mokgweetsi Masisi is isolating at his official residence after testing positive for the coronavirus.

Botswana government spokesperson John Dipowe said Masisi received the result after routine testing.

"Members of the public are assured that his excellency the president does not have any symptoms and will continue to receive close medical monitoring by his medical doctors," Dipowe said. "The self-isolation is a precautionary measure in accordance with Botswana's COVID-19 health protocols."

This is the first time Masisi has tested positive, although he has gone into self-isolation as a precaution on several occasions.

In Masisi's absence, Vice President Slumber Tsogwane will act as president.

Botswana, which along with South Africa was the first country to report detecting the new omicron variant of the coronavirus in November, has seen a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.

Officials, however, say hospitalizations and deaths have remained low.

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