Covid-19 surges in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan as Omicron spreads

Covid-19 cases surge in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan as Omicron spreads rapidly
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Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan have reported a surge in new Covid-19 cases as the highly transmissible Omicron variant spreads across the two countries.
As of 10 January, 26 countries report that over 1% of their population is catching Covid-19 each week [source: Getty]

Central Asian neighbours Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan reported jumps in new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday as both countries said the Omicron variant of the virus was now spreading on their territories.

Kyrgyzstan reported its first cases of the variant on Wednesday while Kazakhstan confirmed its first last week.

The Kyrgyz healthcare ministry said on Wednesday it has registered 465 new Covid-19 cases, a five-month high.

Kazakh Healthcare Minister Azhar Giniyat told a government meeting on the same day that the country has registered over 8,000 cases over the last seven days, almost three times more in the previous seven days. 

Last week protests in Kazakhstan, notably against fuel price rises and corruption, saw levels of violence not experienced in the vast former Soviet republic since independence in 1991.

Dozens of people were killed and hundreds more injured with more than 10,000 arrests made.