Tokayev extending state of emergency in Kazakhstan

Tokayev extending state of emergency in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan will ease some coronavirus-related restrictions in the coming days despite extending its state of emergency until May 11, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said.

The Central Asian nation of 19 million will, in particular, renew flights between its two major cities from May 1, he said in a statement. The state of emergency declared in mid-March over the pandemic was due to end on April 30.

Kazakhstan, which has confirmed 2,780 cases of COVID-19 and 25 deaths, has yet to pass the peak stage of infection, Tokayev said. But he said he would let the state of emergency elapse on May 11 unless there is a fresh mass outbreak, Reuters reported.

The Kazakh president also ordered the healthcare ministry to ramp up testing volumes to 20,000-25,000 per day. Kazakhstan, which borders China and Russia, has so far carried out about 180,000 tests over a period of about 40 days. 

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