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Wednesday 24 June 2020

Almaty Running Out of Hospital Beds


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NUR-SULTAN / ax ASTANA (Reuters) — Kazakhstan’s biggest city, Almaty, may convert two sports arenas into COVID-19 hospitals as existing facilities for patients with suspected and confirmed cases are nearly full, the city’s healthcare chief said on Tuesday.

Aerial view of a new infectious hospital for patients affected by COVID-19 in Almaty (April 24, 2020)
(Credit: REUTERS / Pavel Mikheyev)

Kazakhstan is struggling to contain the spread of the coronavirus after lifting a nationwide lockdown in mid-May. The country had reported almost 29,000 COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday, up from about 5,000 at the end of the lockdown.

One indoor arena on the outskirts of the city of 2 mln could house about 1,000 beds, Kamalzhan Nadyrov told a briefing after residents started complaining on social networks that hospitals were refusing to take in patients.

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said the authorities and the people had let their guard down too early, prompting a resurgence in the virus.

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