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Tajikistan finally confronts virus as Central Asian economies reel

Turkmenistan is now region's last bastion claiming to be coronavirus-free

Tajik President Emomali Rahmon: His government has so far avoided the lockdowns seen in other Central Asian states.   © Reuters

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- After weeks of maintaining that anything but the coronavirus was behind a spike in deaths from respiratory problems, Tajikistan has finally shifted into COVID-19 crisis mode just as its neighbors tentatively emerge from weeks of lockdown.

Tajikistan on April 30 confirmed that 15 coronavirus infections had been detected the day before, days after the Ministry of Health continued to report a sharp rise in pneumonia cases. The tally has since risen to 461 infections, with 12 deaths, as of early Friday.

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