Uzbekistan reports first coronavirus death as it widens lockdowns

Uzbekistan reported its first coronavirus death on Friday, as it locked down more cities and districts, having declared large bonuses for medical workers in the battle on infections, which climbed to 83.

A 72-year-old woman in the city of Namangan died of cardiac infarction, the healthcare ministry said, adding that she had suffered from a host of other diseases in addition to the virus.

She appeared to have been infected by her daughter who had travelled to Turkey, it added.

Municipal authorities in the province of Navoi, home to large gold- and uranium-mining companies and chemical plants, said they were locking down the cities of Navoi and Zarafshan, as well as several districts.

Authorities in the major tourism hub of Bukhara also said the city would close its borders.

The central Asian nation has already locked down some of its biggest cities, including Namangan and the capital, Tashkent, outside which it has built a quarantine facility housing more than 20,000 beds in modified cargo containers.

Eleven infections were among medical workers, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev said late on Thursday, announcing large bonus payments for those working in direct contact with infected people.

Doctors will get $2,500 every two weeks, or several times their normal monthly pay, while nurses and laboratory workers will receive $1,500, junior medical workers $1,000 and others $500, Mirziyoyev said.

Medical workers who get infected while treating virus patients will get $10,000 each.

Reporting by Mukhammadsharif Mamatkulov; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Clarence Fernandez