Prime Minister Ambrose Dlamini of Eswatini died a few days after a positive test for Covid-19, making him the world’s first leader to die of the virus.
Mr. Dlamini, 52, was hospitalized in nearby South Africa, confirmed by the government of the monarchy late on Sunday, Dec. 13.
“Their Majesties have commanded that I inform the Nation of the sad and untimely passing away of His Excellency the Prime Minister Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini,” said Deputy Prime Minister Themba Masuku in a statement.
“His Excellency passed on this afternoon (Dec 13) while under medical care in a hospital in South Africa.”
On Dec.1, Dlamini was relocated to South Africa to “guide and fast track his recovery,” At that time, Dlamini was healthy and reacting well to treatment, Masuku said.
According to the Ministry of Health, the southern African nation of about 1.2 million people has so far reported 6,768 positive Covid-19 cases, with 127 confirmed deaths.
The Burundian president, Pierre Nkurunziza, was confirmed earlier this year to potentially be the first world leader to die of the virus. He died from a heart attack, the government reported later.
At the time, however, opposition outlets and journalists reported that the president was receiving coronavirus treatment in a hospital after he fell ill.
But the allegations were not verified by the government, which said that the leader died on June 8 following a heart attack.