Tajikistan is closing schools for two weeks to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus and temporarily banning exports of grains and pulses to ensure sufficient supplies at home, Reuters said with reference to the government of the republic.
Tajikistan, which borders China, has reported no coronavirus cases, although its neighbors (including Uzbekistan) have confirmed hundreds. Cases of pneumonia and a suspected swine flu fatality have caused concern, however.
The country is not a major food exporter and relies heavily on imports for items such as wheat and buckwheat. The government said the grain export ban was aimed at conserving domestic supplies.
So far Tajikistan has taken a more relaxed approach to the coronavirus pandemic than its neighbors. Although it has closed borders and mosques, it has not imposed a lockdown of citizens and pressed ahead with soccer games, albeit with no spectators.