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Thabane says citizens slipping into Lesotho from SA untested for COVID-19

Over the past few days, images of people crossing the full Tele River between Lesotho and the Eastern Cape have gone viral.

Lesotho citizens entering the country from South Africa at unauthorised borders undetected for COVID-19. Picture: Nthakoana Ngatane/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Lesotho Prime Minister Tom Thabane said that while there were still no confirmed COVID-19 cases in the kingdom, many citizens were entering undetected through unauthorised borders from South Africa.

Lesotho has partnered with the International Organisation for Migration to distribute food and other assistance to its citizens in South Africa after thousands said that they were stranded.

Despite this, Thabane announced that all non-essential businesses would reopen for limited hours following a lockdown that was imposed last month.

Last week, more than 13,000 Lesotho citizens said they were stranded in South Africa and in need of food, medication and shelter.

Over the past few days, images of people crossing the full Tele River between Lesotho and the Eastern Cape have gone viral.

The army said that it was screening them, but Prime Minister Thabane said that the country would start testing soon and for now, people must wear masks when they left their homes.

He announced that government departments and parastatals would work on shifts, while schools and tertiary institutions would open gradually.

Church gatherings will also be allowed but for a maximum of 50 people.