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FILE PHOTO: People wear protective face masks as a preventive measure against the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at an annual food fair in the city of Almaty, Kazakhstan October 17, 2020. Signs read: “COVID-19. Wear a mask”. REUTERS/Pavel Mikheyev

ALMATY (Reuters) – Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan reported record numbers of fresh COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, standing at 6,797 and 789 respectively, signalling that Central Asia has yet to overcome the latest pandemic wave, driven by new variants.

Uzbekistan has a population of 34 million compared with Kazakhstan’s 19 million but the latter does more tests while daily figures in the former are more indicative of cases requiring hospitalisation.

Kazakhstan has administered the first COVID-19 vaccine dose to 5.2 million people and 3.4 million have been fully inoculated.

In Uzbekistan, 4.2 million people have received the first dose, with about 1.1 million fully vaccinated.

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