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Kyrgyz Authorities Allow Friday Prayers As Kazakhstan Also Lifts Some Coronavirus Restrictions


Kyrgyz Muslims wearing face masks and keeping a social distance of 1 1/2 meters pray in the Central Imam Serahsi Mosque in Bishkek on June 12.

Muslims in Kyrgyzstan will be allowed to return this week to mosques for Friday Prayers for first time in months, authorities say.

Mass gatherings in mosques were banned at the end of March to help control the spread of the coronavirus.

Kyrgyzstan has registered 43,358 infections since the beginning of the pandemic and 1,058 deaths, according to government data. The number of people who have recovered is 37,217.

Kazakhstan also announced the lifting of some restrictions put in place to control the spread of the coronavirus.

The interagency commission approved beginning Phase 2 of reopening on August 31, the government press service said in a statement on August 26.

"Given the positive effect achieved, the interagency commission decided to resume the activities of religious sites (individually, without any collective events), swimming pools, gyms, sports complexes, cultural centers, and protected natural areas starting on August 31," the statement published on the government website and quoted by Interfax said.

There are also plans to resume suburban train service and intercity and regional bus services.

The Kazakh Health Ministry said the restrictive measures reduced the national coronavirus incident rate by 10 times and reduced the number of calls for an ambulance and hospital bed occupancy.

Kazakhstan registered 1,523 deaths from coronavirus amid 105,075 confirmed infections, government data showed.

Based on reporting by RFE/RL Kyrgyz Service and Interfax

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