MZANSI and Lesotho have started a Covid-19 testing station at the Maseru Bridge border post.

Free State Health MEC Montseng Tsiu and her Lesotho counterpart, Motlatsi Maqelepo, set up the facility on the Lesotho side to perform tests.

Both countries agreed to use the same strategies for testing.

This comes after overworked health workers at the Maseru border post threatened on Friday, 1 January to down tools.

They complained that too many Basotho were returning to Mzansi.

Said Tsiu: “There was an outcry from port health and National Health Laboratories people responsible for Covid-19 tests.

“They told me they couldn’t cope with the workload as there were too many Basotho crossing into South Africa.

“We agreed to create another testing station in Lesotho that would neutralise the situation.

“We spoke about contact tracing. The Lesotho health ministry will set up a quarantine site next to the border to slow the spread of Covid-19.”

They increased the number of laboratory staff at the Maseru and Ficksburg Bridge border posts.

She pleaded with the Lesotho government to separate those with negative certificates and those who didn’t get tested.

Maqelepo said it was fruitful for both countries to work together in stopping the possible use of fake documents.

Meanwhile, Police MEC Sam Mashinini said his department was holding road blocks across the province.

He said everyone, including foreigners, was being tested and asked to produce documents detailing their results.

“Subsequently, I went to the border to assess the situation,” said Mashinini.

“And the main purpose of being here is to link up with the national minister on what we can do to try to minimise overcrowding.”