Kazakhstan locks down two biggest cities due to virus

first_imgKazakhstan’s two main cities of Almaty and Nur-Sultan went into lockdown on Thursday to combat the coronavirus pandemic.The army and police blocked roads leading into Almaty — the oil-rich Central Asian country’s usually bustling business hub — using armored vehicles, barriers and concrete blocks.Troops and police manned checkpoints as medics checked the temperatures of car passengers and recorded their names. Topics : According to the latest official count, Kazakhstan has 44 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection — 19 in Almaty and 25 in Nur-Sultan.Almaty has 1.8 million residents and Nur-Sultan has around 1 million, according to official figures.The vast country that borders Russia and China has adopted some of the toughest measures among former Soviet countries and has earlier announced a state of emergency, set to last at least until April 15.”We ourselves are thinking where this all came from and if this is going to last a long time,” said Valentin, a security guard who was commuting to work in Almaty on Thursday.”Don’t get sick, Almaty,” he added, before driving off.center_img The Kazakh authorities plan to block entry and exit routes to Almaty from Sunday, along with similar restrictions for the capital Nur-Sultan located some 1,000 kilometers further north.The streets in Almaty were mostly empty on Thursday except for queues of people outside some pharmacies.”Infection is a really cunning enemy,” said Mira Ruziyeva, a vet, who was passing through a road block into the city.”I for one understand the situation is serious. We all need to show self-discipline and carry out instructions,” she said.last_img read more