TASHKENT, March 20 (Xinhua) -- The Uzbek government announced Friday several measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, including providing more than 1 billion U.S. dollars to mitigate the negative impact of the epidemic and suspending international passenger traffic.
Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has issued a decree to set up an anti-crisis fund worth 1.05 billion dollars under the state's finance ministry to overcome negative economic consequences of the disease, the Uzbek Ministry of Justice said Friday.
The fund will be used to support the efforts against the coronavirus' spread and provide assistance to low-income families, according to Uzbek state TV.
The government will also provide interest-free loans for some enterprises in strategic sectors and subsidize a part of the transportation costs of businesses engaged in foreign trade.
In addition, Uzbekistan has suspended all international passenger traffic by air, rail and road for 40 days, while the restriction does not apply to trade and cargo, the Uzbek Ministry of Transport said Friday.
This decision was made by the Republican Special Commission, a special task force formed to prepare measures to prevent the virus's spread in the country.
Uzbekistan confirmed its first COVID-19 case on Sunday and a total of 23 cases have been reported nationwide by now.