Eswatini Prime Minister Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini died Sunday in a South African hospital, becoming the world’s first sitting head of government to die after testing positive for the novel coronavirus.

Dlamini, 52, was head of Eswatini, a tiny country near South Africa formerly known as Swaziliand, since October 2018. He was hospitalized late last month after he was diagnosed with the coronavirus.

“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. His Excellency passed on this afternoon while under medical care in a hospital in South Africa”, Deputy Prime Minister Themba Masuku said in a statement, Reuters reported.

As of Monday, Eswatini, which has a population of roughly 1.2 million people, has reported approximately 6,800 coronavirus cases and 127 deaths, according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker.

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This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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