Kazakhstan’s first president Nazarbayev tests positive for COVID-19

President Nursultan Nazarbayev in 2013 (Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
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NUR-SULTAN, /Xinhua/

Kazakhstan’s first president Nursultan Nazarbayev has tested positive for COVID-19 and is undergoing self-isolation, the press service of the first president announced in a statement on Thursday.

“Unfortunately, the last coronavirus test of the first president showed a positive result. There is no reason to worry. Nursultan Nazarbayev continues to work remotely,” the statement said.

Also on Thursday, the Kazakh government announced enhanced quarantine measures in major cities and several regions, including the closure of shopping malls, parks and markets, the reopening of control and check-up points, and shorter working hours. The country’s health authorities have also been urged to increase the number of available hospital beds and broaden testing.

Kazakhstan has seen a spike in coronavirus cases amid the resumption of its economic activities. High-profile officials have tested positive since June, including the speaker of the lower house of the Parliament Nurlan Nigmatulin, Health Minister Yelzhan Birtanov, and Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s spokesman Berik Uali.

As of Thursday, the country has reported 15,877 confirmed cases and 100 deaths, as well as 6,837 asymptomatic cases.

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