Eswatini Prime Minister Ambrose Dlamini, who had tested positive for Covid-19, has died, the government has announced. He is believed to be the first world leader to have died from the virus.
The 52-year-old Dlamini, who had been prime minister since 2018, announced in November that he had tested positive for the virus and was being treated at a hospital in neighbouring South Africa.
The government of Eswatini announced Dlamini’s death on Twitter.
Eswatini, a small mountain kingdom northeast of South Africa, has recorded almost 7,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 127 deaths.
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South Africa is experiencing a resurgence of Covid-19 and President Cyril Ramaphosa is scheduled to address the nation Monday evening on the country’s response to the new wave of the disease.
South Africa recorded 7,999 new infections and 170 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing its total number of cases to 860,964.
The country has already imposed tougher restrictions in the metropolitan area of Nelson Mandela Bay in the Eastern Cape province, which has been identified as a virus hotspot. These restrictions include limited hours for the sale of alcohol and a nighttime curfew.
The four provinces of Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Kwazulu-Natal and Gauteng have been identified as key drivers of new infections. There are concerns that new infections will increase drastically during the upcoming festive season, as South Africans traditionally travel to visit families.