Kazakhstan’s influential former president Nursultan Nazarbayev has self-isolated after testing positive for COVID-19, his spokesman Aidos Ukibay wrote on Twitter.

“There is no reason for concern,” Ukibay wrote, referring to the health of 79-year-old Nazarbayev, who retains sweeping powers as Yelbasy, or national leader, and chair of Kazakhstan security council. 

The official website of Nazarbayev reports the first President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev tested positive for COVID-19.

Nazarbayev reportedly continues his work remotely.

"The first President of Kazakhstan is in self-isolation.  Unfortunately, the last test of the Yelbasy [national leader] for coronavirus infection was positive.  There are no reasons for concerns,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, the Government of Kazakhstan is going to tighten quarantine restrictions in several cities on June 20-21 due to deterioration of coronavirus infection situation, according to AKIpress.  The information reportedly came from the meeting of the interagency commission for COVID-19 containment.

Additional restrictions will be imposed in Nur-Sultan, Almaty, Karaganda, Shymkent, Pavlodar, Ekibastuz due to worsened epidemiological situation.

Shopping centers, trade houses, chain stores, indoor food and consumer markets will be closed.  Public catering facilities will be allowed to serve clients only outdoors.  The work of public transport will be restricted.  Parks, beaches, water parks, esplanades will be closed to public.  Fitness centers will be shut down.  People over 65 years of age are asked to stay home. The tourist zones close to the mentioned cities will be shut down.

The region administrations have been tasked to increase PCR testing via opening of additional laboratories at healthcare organizations; to prepare more beds in infectious diseases and provisional hospitals; to increase computer tomography testing; to ensure timely response to emergency medical calls.

Kazakhstan has reported 15,877 COVID-19 cases and 6,831 asymptomatic cases as of June 18. 100 people died from coronavirus infection.