Xinhua world news summary at 1530 GMT, March 23

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WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) announced on Monday that it will purchase U.S. treasuries and agency mortgage-backed securities with no limit to help markets function more efficiently amid coronavirus uncertainty.

"The Federal Reserve will continue to purchase Treasury securities and agency mortgage-backed securities in the amounts needed to support smooth market functioning and effective transmission of monetary policy to broader financial conditions," the Fed said in a statement before the stock market opened, putting no numerical cap on its asset purchase program. (US-Fed-Market)

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TASHKENT -- Uzbekistan has decided to lock down its capital city Tashkent from Tuesday to counter the spread of coronavirus, the Special Commission for the Control of Coronavirus said Monday.

All types of transport, including buses, cars, aircraft and rail, will be suspended except for cargo, it said, adding only permanent residents in Tashkent will be allowed in. (Uzbekistan-COVID-19)

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MOSCOW -- Russia has sent about 100 experts and diagnostics and disinfection equipment on nine military aircraft to Italy to help fight the coronavirus.

The medical help includes leading virology and epidemiology experts along with modern equipment for diagnosis and disinfection, the Russian defence ministry said in a statement. (Russia-Italy-Coronavirus)

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BISHKEK -- Kyrgyzstan imposed a temporary ban on export of certain types of food products and essential goods over COVID-19 concerns, the press service of the government reported Monday.

The decision was made according to a decree signed by the country's Prime Minister Mukhammedkalyi Abylgaziev, said the report. (Kyrgyzstan-Abylgaziev-COVID-19) Enditem

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