Amid fears of the deadly Ebola epidemic sweeping sub-Saharan Africa, more than 100 copper-hauling trucks from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have been blocked from entering Botswana by border officials, leaving the vehicles completely stranded at a Zambian crossing, local media reported.

The South Africa-bound trucks have been stuck since Monday, according to The Times of Zambia, after the DRC government on Sunday announced an Ebola outbreak in northern Equateur, 750 miles north of the capital, Kinshasa. Most DRC copper mines, however, are in Katanga, 1,500 miles south of the impacted region.

In all 1,427 people have perished from the lethal, highly contagious hemorrhagic virus since it first broke out in southeast Guinea’s remote jungles in Q1 2014 before spreading rapidly to neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone. Drivers told the Times of Zambia anyone coming from the DRC is denied entry into Botswana irrespective of nationality.


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