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COVID-19: Bishkek City Mayor Temporarily Steps Down After Testing Positive


Bishkek Mayor Aziz Surakmatov (file photo)

The global death toll from the coronavirus is almost 473,000, with more than 9.1 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.

Kyrgyzstan

The mayor of the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, Aziz Surakmatov, has temporarily stepped down after being diagnosed with the coronavirus.

The city administration's press service said on June 22 that during Surakmatov's absence, his deputy, Almaz Baketaev, will serve as acting mayor.

Surakmatov wasn't the only official to test positive.

The chief of the press service of the Central Asian nation's parliament, Ibraim Nurakun-Uulu, and several lawmakers said on June 22 that their COVID-19 tests also came back positive.

Meanwhile, Bishkek airport remains closed for flights except for charter planes bringing Kyrgyz citizens home from abroad.

The Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry said on June 23 that 19 Kyrgyz nationals returned to Bishkek from South Korea, Japan, and the Philippines via Seoul, aboard a charter plane belonging to Kazakhstan's Air Astana.

Kyrgyz Health Ministry officials said on June 23 that the number of coronavirus cases in the country was 3,519, including 41 deaths.

With reporting by RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service and Kaktus
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