Kazakh lower house speaker tests positive for COVID-19

ALMATY (Reuters) – The speaker of the lower house of Kazakhstan’s parliament has self-isolated after testing positive for the novel coronavirus, the legislature said on Wednesday.

The speaker, Nurlan Nigmatulin, met Healthcare Minister Yelzhan Birtanov last week and Birtanov then tested positive and is now in hospital, being treated for pneumonia.

Unlike Birtanov, Nigmatulin’s case is asymptomatic, the parliament’s press office said.

The Central Asian country has confirmed more than over 21,000 cases of the coronavirus with 88 deaths and has tightened restrictions such as the working hours of shops and public transport in most of its provinces after easing them in May.

Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Robert Birsel

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