Kazakhstan is going to implement a second, softer coronavirus or COVID-19 lockdown for two weeks from July 5 for helping to combat a surge in the deadly novel virus cases, the government mentioned on Thursday.

Authorities are going to close few non-essential businesses, limit travel between provinces, cut public transit services'hours of operation, and ban public gatherings. The measures might be tightened or extended later, the cabinet mentioned in a statement.

COVID-19 in Kazakhstan

Coronavirus

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev ordered new curbs after coronavirus cases in the Central Asian country rose more than sevenfold following the lifting of its first, more restrictive lockdown in mid-May. This time the former Soviet republic of 19 million people will maintain air and railroad links between its provinces and air links with a limited number of countries.

Also unlike previously, Kazakhs will be allowed to leave their homes for walks but only in groups of no more than three, and cafes and restaurants will be able to stay open if they have outdoor seating. The oil-exporting nation bordering Russia and China has confirmed over 42,000 COVID-19 cases with 188 deaths and reported that hospitals were full in some major cities.

(With agency inputs)