The Health Department has stopped requesting 72-hour COVID-19 test results from travelers leaving the country through the Beitbridge border post in Musina, Limpopo.
Delays associated with accessing COVID-19 tests at a mobile laboratory inside the border post was cited as reasons for snaking queues of trucks outside the port of entry.
At least eight people are said to have died while queuing.
Health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba says they will instead be strengthening their screening services.
“We used to demand the 72-hour results but because people have heard that as government we have put a mobile laboratory at the port health, which test you in case you don’t have those results or in case they have expired. But now people would abuse the system, they would drive from Cape Town going to neighbouring countries without the results hoping they would be tested there. So what we have decided; we will remain with the screening there,” she says.
Limpopo reported its highest number of new infections in one day, with over 600 recorded in the last 24 hour window.
Ramathuba attributes the increase to the high number of visitors in the province during the festive season, citing a family of 15 that recently tested positive for the coronavirus.
This after a family member who works in Gauteng came back with flu-like symptoms.
“This morning I was dealing with one family where there is a daughter who came back from Gauteng, and tested positive was asymptomatic and after testing we then did the whole family now five days later since she has arrived. I think it’s day seven now, they have all I think it’s 15 of them including the uncle and aunt because over the last week, they had some family gathering. These are really the issues that are really call for concern for us as a province,” says Ramathuba.