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Kazakhstan Plans Reimposing Lockdown Amid Surge In Coronavirus Cases

A woman wearing a face mask stands in line outside a pharmacy in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
A woman wearing a face mask stands in line outside a pharmacy in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

NUR-SULTAN -- Kazakhstan's government has presented a plan to reintroduce lockdown measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus after a sharp rise in infections.

According to the plan, the Central Asian nation's second lockdown would start on July 5 and last for at least 14 days, President Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev tweeted on July 1.

Toqaev wrote that Health Minister Aleksei Tsoi will present details of the proposal the next day.

The announcement comes a day after Tsoi recommended that authorities introduce a four-week, nationwide lockdown to contain the virus.

The spread of the virus intensified in Kazakhstan after a 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 having the "rapid" spread of the coronavirus.

Kazakh health authorities said on July 1 that the number of coronavirus cases in the country reached 41,065, of which 13,614 people recovered, and 188 died.

In neighboring Kyrgyzstan, Prime Minister Kubatbek Boronov said that by the evening of July 1, a total of 1,150 beds for coronavirus patients will be set up at university dormitories and at Bishkek’s Manas International Airport.

Boronov also said that senior students at medical universities and schools have been mobilized to help tackle the epidemic in the country.

The Health Ministry said on July 30 that it has recorded 5,735 coronavirus patients in the country, of which 2,443 people recovered, and 62 died.

The government of another Central Asian nation, Tajikistan, said on June 30 that the number of coronavirus cases there reached 5,954, of whom 4,568 people recovered and 52 died.

However, an RFE/RL investigative report has revealed that the number of people who died of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, may be almost 440.

Tajik health authorities have claimed that the number of cases in the country has been decreasing since June 9, while Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan have said infections were on the rise.

Uzbek health authorities said on July 1 that the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country was 8,627, of whom 5,682 people recovered, while 26 patients have died.

Turkmenistan remains the only country in the region that has not officially admitted a single coronavirus case, though experts are skeptical of the claim given the lack of transparency and the absence of an independent media in the tightly controlled country.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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