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COVID-19: Uzbekistan Eases Some Restrictions But Extends Lockdown; Kazakhstan Lifts State Of Emergency


A specialist wearing protective gear sprays disinfectant after the arrival of a plane carrying Kyrgyz citizens from Japan and South Korea in Almaty on May 14.

The global death toll from the coronavirus is more than 302,000 with more than 4.4 million infections confirmed, causing mass disruptions as governments continue to try to slow the spread of the new respiratory illness.

Here's a roundup of COVID-19 developments in RFE/RL's broadcast regions.

Central Asia

Uzbekistan has extended its lockdown by 15 days even as the Central Asian nation eases some of its restrictions imposed to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The government’s special commission on COVID-19 said on May 14 that the lockdown will be prolonged until June 1, adding that some businesses will be allowed to resume their operations as of May 15.

Limited operations are now allowed for open-air sports facilities, parks, and museums, while renting and leasing services, repair services for electronic devices and home appliances, accounting services, real estate activities, operations at veterinary clinics, as well as some other businesses can open fully, the commission said.

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As of May 15, the number of coronavirus cases in the country was 2,652, including 11 deaths.

In neighboring Kazakhstan, public transportation in Nur-Sultan, the capital, widened its service period by two hours to allow operations from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

On May 11, Kazakhstan lifted the state of emergency imposed over the coronavirus but said all the restrictions will be lifted gradually and differently in regions and cities due to situations there.

On May 15, health authorities in Kazakhstan said the number of coronavirus cases in the country was 5,689, including 34 deaths.

In Tajikistan, officials said on May 14 that the number of coronavirus cases in the country was 907, including 29 deaths.

Tajikistan did not officially register a coronavirus case until April 30, just ahead of a mission by the World Health Organization to the country.

Still, many in the country doubt the data and believe the government has been underreporting the situation.

In Kyrgyzstan, 1,111 cases have been recorded with 14 deaths.

Turkmenistan remains the only nation in the region that has not officially registered a single coronavirus case yet.

Experts are skeptical of the claim that there are no cases given the lack of transparency and an independent media in the country.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has been working on a possible visit to Turkmenistan to assess the situation on the ground of one of the world's most tightly run countries.

Turkmen Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov has said his country is ready to host the WHO mission.


The Georgian government says it has decided not to extend the state of emergency imposed in a bid to contain the spread of the coronavirus when it expires next week.

Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia said on May 15 that his government will not appeal to the president and parliament to prolong the state of emergency after May 22, when it is set to expire.

Gakharia stressed that restrictions will only be lifted gradually.

Emergency measures have been in force since March 21. They include a night curfew and the closure of nonessential businesses, including shops, restaurants, and cafes.

Georgian health authorities have reported 671 confirmed coronavirus cases in the South Caucasus nation, including 12 deaths.

With reporting by RFE/RL's Uzbek, Tajik, Kazakh, and Kyrgyz services
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