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Mongolia loses battle to stay COVID-free

People cry foul at impromptu measures imposed following months with no cases

Mongolians stand in an hourslong line in bitter cold to get tested for COVID-19 in order to leave Ulaanbaatar and return to their native provinces. (Photo by Anand Tumurtogoo)

ULAANBAATAR -- Just a month ago Mongolia was free of COVID-19. Children were in school, public gatherings such as conferences, concerts and sports events were allowed -- it was as if the virus didn't exist. Mongolians had stopped wearing masks as summer came, and social distancing was nonexistent.

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