Uzbekistan largely closes border with Afghanistan amid COVID-19 surge

Uzbekistan has temporarily suspended the movement of citizens across the Uzbek-Afghan border amid the aggravating epidemic situation in Afghanistan, the Uzbek Health Ministry said Tuesday.

The country will keep its only cross-border checkpoint open for diplomats, employees of consulates and international organizations and their families, as well as for drivers of international cargo freight companies, the ministry said.

Uzbek and Afghan citizens returning to their home country will also be allowed to cross the border, but foreign citizens will not be allowed to enter Uzbekistan.

New confirmed cases in Uzbekistan also doubled in recent days, reaching 427 on Monday. So far, Uzbekistan has registered a total of 106,452 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 718 related deaths.