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Mongolia records first local COVID-19 transmission

Mongolia records first local COVID-19 transmission

Staff members spray disinfectant as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus at Sukhbaatar square in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia on Mar 17, 2020. (Photo: AFP/Byambasuren BYAMBA-OCHIR)

ULAANBAATAR: Mongolia recorded its first domestic coronavirus transmission on Wednesday (Nov 11) following hundreds of imported cases, the country's health minister said during a briefing.

Minister Munkhsaikhan Togtmol said a woman in Ulaanbaatar had been infected by her husband, a truck driver delivering goods from Russia who tested positive after 21 days in quarantine.

Another 24 people in close contact with the couple have been put in isolation.

READ: Mongolia locks down cities after reporting first COVID-19 case

Authorities have ordered a three-day lockdown in Ulaanbaatar, with schools also closed. The health ministry urged audience members at a concert attended by the couple to get tested.

Mongolia has earned praise for its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It shut its southern border with China in late January and quickly closed schools and other public places, with officials warning that it did not have the infrastructure to cope with mass infections.

READ: Explainer: Where are we in the COVID-19 vaccine race?

READ: How Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine could be cold comfort for some Asian nations

The country has so far reported a total of 376 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and no deaths.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, praised Mongolia on Twitter last week for "showing us that by following proven public health advice we can stop this virus from spreading."

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Source: Reuters/kv

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