At least 15 dead in delays at South Africa-Zimbabwe border -TV news

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - At least 15 people have died in long queues on the South African side of the Beitbridge border with Zimbabwe in the past few weeks, slowed down by coronavirus screening, television news channel eNCA said on Friday.
The Department of Health, Interior Ministry and South African Police Local on Friday did not immediately respond to Reuters' requests for confirmation of deaths, which local media attributed to exhaustion and illness due to lack of facilities while waiting to cross the border. sometimes for days.
Pictures and videos on local news channels shared on social media showed lines of stationary cars, mostly trucks, stretching for miles on the narrow road to Beitbridge inland port, which serves as the main crossroads between countries and is much busier than usual Season due to a seasonal return of migrants to Zimbabwe.
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South Africa, home to an estimated 1.5 million Zimbabwean migrants, according to the United Nations, is suffering from a second wave of COVID-19 infections.
Authorities suspect that in some cases the increase was triggered by a genetic mutation in the disease. The total number of positive cases is now near the 1 million mark, by far the most in the continent.
The Director General of the South African Ministry of Health, Sandile Buthelezi, was asked in an interview on the news channel eNCA about the delays at the border would be required upon re-entry.
"The biggest backlog was outbound trucks. We don't need a test when you leave the country," said Buthelezi.
(Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana; Editing by David Goodman)

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