Uzbekistan imposes new restrictions as COVID-19 cases rise again

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FILE PHOTO: People wearing protective face masks wait in line to enter a grocery store amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Tashkent, Uzbekistan April 9, 2020. REUTERS/Mukhammadsharif Mamatkulov/File Photo

TASHKENT (Reuters) – Uzbekistan has imposed an overnight curfew in some parts of the country, including the capital Tashkent, as it seeks to curb a fresh rise in COVID-19 infections following the gradual lifting of a two-month lockdown.

The Central Asian nation had been cautiously lifting a nationwide lockdown that had been in place in April and May. However, after a decline in COVID-19 cases between mid-April and mid-May, it has once again seen a steady rise.

The new restrictions will see residents of “red” and “yellow” areas deemed at higher risk barred from leaving their homes between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. except for medical emergencies, the government said on Tuesday.

Large shopping malls and markets will also be closed on weekends across the country.

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Uzbekistan has divided its territory into green, yellow and red zones depending on the rate of fresh COVID-19 cases in those areas. Tashkent is mostly yellow, with some red neighbourhoods which have been cordoned off.

The country of 34 million people has confirmed 8,298 COVID-19 cases, with 24 deaths.

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