ULAANBAATAR (Reuters) – Mongolia recorded its first domestic coronavirus transmission on Wednesday following hundreds of imported cases, the country’s health minister said during a briefing.
Minister Munkhsaikhan Togtmol said a woman in Ulaanbaatar had been infected by her husband, a truck driver delivering goods from Russia who tested positive after 21 days in quarantine.
Another 24 people in close contact with the couple have been put in isolation.
Authorities have ordered a three-day lockdown in Ulaanbaatar, with schools also closed. The health ministry urged audience members at a concert attended by the couple to get tested.
Mongolia has earned praise for its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It shut its southern border with China in late January and quickly closed schools and other public places, with officials warning that it did not have the infrastructure to cope with mass infections.
The country has so far reported a total of 376 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and no deaths.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, praised Mongolia on Twitter last week for “showing us that by following proven public health advice we can stop this virus from spreading.”
(Reporting by Anand Tumurtogoo; Writing by David Stanway; Editing by Michael Perry)