Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza has died at 55, possibly of coronavirus. The government’s official statement says that Nkurunziza died of a heart attack, but the president’s death follows reports that he and his wife, Denise Bucumi, may have been infected with COVID-19. Bucumi had been taken to Kenya for medical treatment just days earlier. Burundi has done little to control the spread of COVID-19 and has not reported many cases of the disease. World Health Organization officials were expelled from the country last month.
Nkurunziza would be the first world leader to die of COVID-19 if that is the true cause of death. He was due to step down in August following a May 20 election which was widely viewed as rigged in favor of his chosen successor General Evariste Ndayishimiye.