ASHGABAT -- Authorities in Turkmenistan have introduced a lockdown without any official announcement, continuing to deny a single coronavirus case has been registered in the country.
Marketplaces, department stores, except food shops, as well as bars, restaurants, and other public places in all regional capitals have been closed since January 16.
In Ashgabat, the capital, the lockdown was imposed on January 15.
RFE/RL's Coverage Of COVID-19
Features and analysis, videos, and infographics explore how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the countries in our region.
RFE/RL's correspondents report that there were no official statements about the lockdown and citizens were learning about the measure from written announcements on the doors of public places and shops.
It is not clear for how long the new lockdown was introduced.
Medical personnel in regional capitals told RFE/RL on condition of anonymity that local hospitals were overcrowded, as the number of patients, especially among teenagers and university students, had increased in recent days.
A previous lockdown that lasted for almost four months was lifted in early December.
Turkmenistan's government still clings to its narrative that the country has no cases of coronavirus -- even though practically no one believes the claim.