(Adds comments by Almaty mayor)
ALMATY, March 17 (Reuters) - Kazakhstan will lock down its capital Nur-Sultan and biggest city Almaty from March 19 after both reported coronavirus cases, the state emergency commission said on Tuesday.
In addition to restricted movement of people and vehicles, the authorities instructed restaurants to switch to delivery-only mode and said they may shut down public transport in the two cities, each populated by more than 1 million people.
The cities would be divided into sectors to limit the movement of people, the commission led by Prime Minister Askar Mamin said in a statement. All large non-food retailers will close down.
Police, national guard and military servicemen will be deployed at 27 checkpoints around Almaty, city mayor Bakytzhan Sagintayev said on state television.
The city would close all nurseries and kindergartens, in addition to schools and universities that have already been shut down across the nation of 19 million, he said.
The oil-exporting Central Asian country has reported 32 coronavirus cases so far, roughly equally split between the two major cities. The commission said it aimed to prevent the disease from spreading to other parts of the country. (Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Alex Richardson)