Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi has been tested positive for COVID-19 and place in mandatory self- isolation, a government spokesperson said on Monday.
“The president is not showing any symptoms and is under close medical monitoring,” he said, adding that Mokgweetsi Masisi tested positive during a routine check.
Vice President Slumber Tsogwane will replace him until further notice, the government said.
Omicron, a highly contagious variant with multiple mutations that raise concerns about vaccine resistance, was first identified in Botswana and South Africa in late November. Botswana recently announced the launch of the booster campaign for those already vaccinated and lowered the vaccination age for children to 12 years.
Omicron is causing a new wave of pandemic around the world, where it is currently present in about 100 countries, according to the WHO. It is highly contagious, affecting both vaccinated people and those who have already been infected with the virus. While many countries are announcing tighter health restrictions, with record numbers of new infections occurring daily, South Africa announced this week that it had passed the peak of the Omicron wave and eased health restrictions.