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Kyrgyzstan reports 1st coronavirus cases

3 people who returned from Umrah pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia on March 12 tested positive for virus, says health minister

Nazir Aliyev Tayfur   | 18.03.2020
Kyrgyzstan reports 1st coronavirus cases

BISHKEK, Krygyzstan 

The Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan on Wednesday announced its first confirmed cases of coronavirus.

Speaking at a press conference, Health Minister Kosmosbek Colponbayev said three people who returned from Umrah pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia on March 12 tested positive for the disease known as COVID-19.

Colponbayev added they are currently under house quarantine.

Following the announcement, authorities banned entry and exit to the Suzak district of the southwestern Jalal-Abad region, where the patients live.

Worldwide, out of over 197,000 confirmed cases, the death toll now exceeds 7,900, while more than 81,000 patients have recovered, according to Worldometer, a website that compiles new case numbers.

The number of active cases is more than 107,000 -- 93% mild and 7% in critical condition, according to the website.

The World Health Organization has declared Europe the new epicenter of the virus, which first emerged in Wuhan, China last December.

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