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COVID-19: Kazakh President Orders New Restrictions After Surge In Cases


Kazakhstan has experienced an abrupt increase in coronavirus cases in recent weeks.

The global death toll from the coronavirus is over 500,000, with more than 10.1 million infections confirmed, causing mass disruptions as governments continue to try to slow the spread of the respiratory illness.

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

Kazakhstan

President Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev has ordered the Kazakh government to outline a new package of coronavirus restrictions after a recent sharp rise in infections.

After reprimanding and warning several regional governors, heads of government agencies and ministers, over the abrupt increase in cases, Toqaev said on June 29 that he wanted lawmakers to impose similar measures to the tough lockdown that the Central Asian nation approved in March.

Toqaev's spokesman, Berik Uali, said that the president also criticized the website Coronavirus2020.kz, saying that, as the country's main source of online information, it had failed to fulfil its main task -- to serve as a tool to connect state agencies with citizens.

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The spread of the virus intensified after the state of emergency declared on March 16 was lifted on May 11 and quarantine restrictions were eased. The Word Health Organization has designated Kazakhstan as experiencing a "rapid" spread of the coronavirus.

Toqaev said earlier that his government had allocated $10 billion to tackle the pandemic and its impact on the economy.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has skyrocketed to almost 37,996 from about 5,000 at the time Kazakhstan started lifting the nationwide lockdown in mid-May. Deaths have surged to 183 from 32 over the same period.

Toqaev's order to the government to prepare new restrictions comes four days after he replaced the health minister amid the surge in coronavirus cases.

Russia

Russia's military has reported that the testing of a Russia-produced vaccine on troops who volunteered to take part in clinical trials has shown success.

"No complications or side effects were observed," the dpa news agency cited the Russian military's Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star) newspaper as reporting. The clinical trials are scheduled to wrap up by the end of July.

Russia intends to sell the vaccine globally if all goes well, according to Health Minister Mikhail Murashko.

Kosovo

The prime minister of Kosovo has warned that officials may have to reinstate lockdown measures if things don't improve after a recent surge in reported coronavirus cases there.

Avdullah Hoti said on June 28 that he's worried the hospital system will be overwhelmed.

Kosovo has seen a steep daily increase in the number of virus cases since the easing of containment measures. Overall, it has reported at least 2,590 confirmed cases and 48 deaths, including 12 in the past week.

With reporting by RFE/RL's Kazakh Service and news agencies
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