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Kyrgyzstan tightens coronavirus restrictions after increase in new cases

A municipal worker washes an empty street near the government house, after authorities declared a state of emergency in the capital Bishkek and imposed a curfew as an additional measure to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan March 26, 2020. REUTERS/Vladimir Pirogov/Files

BISHKEK (Reuters) - Kyrgyzstan has shut down public transport in the capital Bishkek and the routes between all of its provinces until Monday, Prime Minister Kubatbek Boronov said on Saturday.

The move came as the number of new coronavirus cases in the Central Asian nation rose by 192.

“We must ensure the country’s full readiness for a worsening of the epidemiological situation,” Boronov said. “We see daily growth in new COVID-19 cases.”

The former Soviet republic of 6.5 million people, which now has 2,981 reported cases of the virus, ended a state of emergency accompanied by curfews and lockdowns in May.

Neighbouring Kazakhstan, which has 25,000 confirmed cases, has also introduced new weekend restrictions.

It has closed all shopping malls, markets and parks in major cities as it fights a second wave of the outbreak.

Reporting by Olga Dzyubenko; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Mike Harrison