Former President Jerry John Rawlings was diagnosed with COVID-19 before his death on Thursday, November 12, Joy News' Head of Health Desk Fred Smith has confirmed.
According to Fred Smith who was reporting from the premises of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital where the former President died earlier today, doctors are not able to confirm if the virus was what eventually killed him even though he had contracted the deadly virus.
GhanaWeb cannot independently confirm the veracity of the claims but several other media houses have affirmed that JJ Rawlings indeed succumbed to the deadly virus.
Rawlings died at age 73.
The former president according to state-owned Daily Graphic died at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital where he was on admission for a week.
Rawlings was born on 22 June 1947 is a former Ghanaian military leader and subsequent politician who ruled the country from 1981 to 2001 and also for a brief period in 1979.
He led a military junta until 1992, and then served two terms as the democratically elected President of Ghana.
Rawlings initially came to power in Ghana as a flight lieutenant of the Ghana Air Force following a coup d'état in 1979. Prior to that, he led an unsuccessful coup attempt against the ruling military government on 15 May 1979, just five weeks before scheduled democratic elections were due to take place.
After initially handing power over to a civilian government, he took back control of the country on 31 December 1981 as the Chairman of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC).In 1992, Rawlings resigned from the military, founded the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and became the first President of the Fourth Republic. He was re-elected in 1996 for four more years.
After two terms in office, the limit according to the Ghanaian Constitution, Rawlings endorsed his vice-president John Atta Mills as a presidential candidate in 2000.
Until his death, he served as the African Union envoy to Somalia.