TASHKENT, Tajikistan

Tajikistan on Saturday reported first two deaths in the country from the novel coronavirus.

The state television in the country confirmed the deaths and reported that the number of COVID-19 cases rose to 76 from 44.

Around 2,800 people are under quarantine in hospitals, it also said.

Tajikistan confirmed the first coronavirus cases in the country on Wednesday.

The country made it compulsory for people to wear protective masks upon the decision taken by the Coronavirus Prevention Center during a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Kokhir Rasulzoda.

With the decision, a break was announced for all university students in the country starting from May 4.

More than 3.38 million cases have been reported in 187 countries and regions since the virus emerged in China last December, with the US and Europe the world’s hardest-hit areas.

A significant number of COVID-19 patients — over 1.06 million — have recovered, but the disease has also claimed close to 240,000 lives so far, according to data compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University.

*Writing by Handan Kazanci

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