First COVID-19 death in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan orders residents of major cities to stay home after first death from coronavirus

A medical official wearing protective gear takes the body temperature of passengers at a checkpoint set up to lock down the city to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), on the outskirts of Almaty, Kazakhstan. (Credit: Reuters)

Kazakhstan will bar residents of its two biggest cities, Almaty and Nur-Sultan, from leaving their homes except for work or to buy food or medicines, the government said on Thursday as it reported the first death from coronavirus.

Information Minister Dauren Abayev said in a brief statement on state television that the deceased was a female Kazakh citizen, providing no further information such as her age.

The authorities will scale down public transport in Nur-Sultan, the capital, and Almaty, the biggest city and commercial hub, bar meetings of more than three people in public areas and prohibit movement of unaccompanied minors, the government said.

The authorities will also close all intercity transport terminals and public spaces in Shymkent, the third-largest city, it said in a statement, in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Kazakhstan has 109 confirmed cases, most of them in Nur-Sultan and Almaty. Two cases have been reported in Shymkent. 

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