Former Republic of Congo president Jacques Joaquim Yhombi Opango died on Monday of the new coronavirus (Covid-19)

His family who confirmed the news disclosed that the 81-year-old former Head of State succumbed to the novel coronavirus in France on Monday.

Yhombi Opango, who led Congo-Brazzaville from 1977 until he was ousted in 1979, died at a Paris hospital, his son Jean-Jacques confirmed.

According to family members, Yhombi Opango had been ill before he contracted the virus.

Former DRC President Yhombi Opango
Former DRC President Yhombi Opango

He was an army officer who rose to power after the assassination of President Marien Ngouabi.

Coronavirus deaths

The novel coronavirus has infected over 782,000 people and killed more than 37,000 worldwide. It has hit at least 178 countries and territories.

The coronavirus was confirmed in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late December 2019 and its cases have since been confirmed in over scores of countries across the globe.

File image of medics attending to a Coronavirus patient.
File image of medics attending to a Coronavirus patient.

With thirty-six African countries currently recording cases, governments continue to roll out increasingly robust measures to halt the spread and to contain the pandemic which has claimed a number of lives.