Ivory Coast Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, the ruling party’s candidate in October’s presidential election, has flown to France for medical checks, the presidency said on Sunday.
The statement announcing Gon Coulibaly’s departure said he left the country Saturday without giving details of health status.
A source close to Gon Coulibaly, who had heart surgery in 2012, said the prime minister had missed a scheduled check-up in France in April because he was busy coordinating Ivory Coast’s coronavirus response.
Gon Coulibaly self-isolated in late March because of possible exposure to the coronavirus but did not test positive.
“His intense activity these last weeks had an impact on his health, but it is nothing very serious. He is doing well,” the source told Reuters.
The announcement that the prime minister had flown to France for medical checkup sparked outrage online, describing the move as “sad”.
Defence Minister Hamed Bakayoko, who recovered from the coronavirus last month, will serve as interim prime minister in Gon Coulibaly’s absence, the presidency’s statement said.
Ivory Coast has recorded more than 1,300 cases of the coronavirus, one of the highest totals in West Africa, with 15 deaths.