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Kazakhstan to reimpose lockdown due to rising case numbers


Kazakhstan to reimpose lockdown due to rising case numbers

Kazakh police distribute masks to people on the streets
Photo: Astana

Kazakhstan will begin a two-week lockdown today.

The Central Asian country ended its two-month lockdown and state of emergency in May but ordered today’s lockdown following a spike in cases from about 9,000 as of the quarantine’s lifting to more than 40,000 today.

Lockdown aside, Kazakhstan’s economy has taken a beating from the precipitous drop in oil prices that accompanied the pandemic. It is estimated that Kazakhstan’s oil is only profitable with a price of over $40 per barrel. As the world’s 12th largest oil producer, experts believe Kazakhstan’s oil sector may face significant increases in unemployment.

To keep the oil industry afloat, Nur-Sultan agreed to OPEC’s goal of cutting 10% of global oil output, equivalent to 390,000 barrels per day in Kazakhstan. As part of the decree on temporary restrictions on the use of subsoil sites, the lower production of oil will reduce the risk of emergency shutdowns and ensure a stable flow of funds. These measures have already increased the price of oil to $42 per barrel. As a measure against unemployment, expect Nur-Sultan to tap its oil fund reserves as well as maintain its VAT reduction, tax reliefs, and the anti-crisis package.

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