ULAN BATOR, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- The Mongolian government on Wednesday decided to reduce the price of processed fuel by 50 percent amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Our people's livelihoods have been badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the government decided to reduce the price of processed fuel by 50 percent from Dec. 3 to April 1 in order to support the livelihoods of residents of ger areas of the capital city Ulan Bator during the pandemic," said Prime Minister Ukhnaa Khurelsukh.
The current price of processed fuel is 150,000 Mongolian tugriks (about 52.8 U.S. dollars) per ton.
Mongolia replaced low-grade coal with processed fuel in Ulan Bator in 2019 to curb air pollution. In other words, the processed fuel is currently used only in the capital city, which is home to over half of Mongolia's 3.2 million population.
Around 220,000 households live in Ulan Bator's ger (yurt, or round-shaped dwelling) districts, with no running water, central heating or sewerage systems, according to government data.
As of Wednesday, Mongolia has reported 812 COVID-19 cases, including 380 locally transmitted cases.
The Asian country's nationwide lockdown, imposed on Nov. 12 after reporting its first locally transmitted case, expired on Tuesday.
However, the Mongolian government has extended the lockdown in Ulan Bator and the provinces of Selenge and Arkhangai by 10 days until Dec. 11.