Azerbaijan reinstates strict lockdown as virus cases surge

Azerbaijan is to reinstate a tight coronavirus lockdown to contain the spread of the disease, officials said Thursday, as infections surged weeks after the country eased restrictions.

"A quarantine regime will be extended until August 1" from Sunday in the capital Baku and several other , the Caspian nation's government said in a statement.

The stay-at-home regime will be tightened.

Azerbaijanis will be allowed to leave home only after receiving permission via from the authorities, the statement said.

Currently they need no permission to go shopping or see a doctor.

The number of infections in the oil-rich ex-Soviet nation of around 10 million people has doubled since June 1.

Overall, the country has so far reported 11,329 cases of the coronavirus and 139 deaths.

Azerbaijan imposed a state of emergency to contain the outbreak on March 24.

It was then lifted on May 31, with most restrictions relaxed.

© 2020 AFP

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