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Lesotho's Maqelepo wants local lab tests as second COVID-19 case confirmed

Lesotho has confirmed its second case of COVID-19, one of 256 citizens who had travelled home from South Africa.

Motlatsi Maqelepo is sworn in as Lesotho's health minister on 21 May 2020. Picture: Supplied.

MASERU - Lesotho has confirmed its second case of COVID-19, one of 256 citizens who had travelled home from South Africa.

The health ministry said that samples were taken from the arrivals between 12 and 17 May and sent to the NICD on 18 May.

The country’s new minister of health expressed concern about people who did not quarantine or isolate while waiting for results.

Lesotho’s first case of COVID-19 was confirmed a little over a week ago - one of five citizens who had returned from Saudi Arabia.

But concerns have always been there about the number of undetected nationals who make illegal crossings.

This week, the health ministry confirmed that half of the more than 2,000 people who arrived had crossed illegally.

Now the country has received results for 274 tests - 256 new ones and 18 sent to the NICD previously.

Health Minister Motlatsi Maqelepo said that he wanted to get local testing up and running.

"It is painful to see that that a month or two months ago there was an initiative to set up a lab but I don't know what happened but that the first that I'm going to address to make sure we have a lab inside the country."

Maqelepo said that it was now important to keep track of all arrivals.

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