SA turns truckers away over ebola

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Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau

South African immigration officers at Beitbridge Border Post are reportedly turning away truck drivers plying the Democratic Republic of Congo route where two confirmed cases of Ebola have been reported. It is understood that last Thursday the drivers, mainly Zimbabwean, Congolese, Malawian and Zambian, were told to go back to the Zimbabwean side of the border for screening.

The South Africans turned the drivers away although they had already been screened by Zimbabwean authorities.
Immigration officers at Beitbridge Border Post confirmed that a number of truck drivers and immigrants were sent back from South African.

“We were shocked to see people being turned away on the South African border though they had passed the screening process at our Ebola port within the border post.
“The drivers were later allowed entry into South Africa after authorities from both countries held a meeting later on Thursday afternoon,” said one of the immigration officers.
South Africa’s Home Affairs spokesperson Mr Mayihlome Tswete did not respond to The Herald’s e-mailed questions.

The incident comes a few days after Government announced that it will quarantine ebola patients while suspects will be screened and monitored for 21 days to determine if they did not contract the deadly disease.

The Ministry of Health and Child Care has expressed satisfaction with Beitbridge’s preparedness in the event of an outbreak of ebola.
A temporary ebola monitoring and surveillance site has been set up within the border post.
Over 170 000 travellers pass through Beitbridge Border Post a month.

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