China’s embassy in Kazakhstan has warned citizens about an outbreak of an “unknown pneumonia” in the country that is said to be more lethal than COVID-19. The warning came after Kazakhstan reported a spike in pneumonia cases since June. However, Kazakhstan’s healthcare ministry branded the embassy statement as “fake news”.
“The death rate of this disease is much higher than the novel coronavirus. The country’s health departments are conducting comparative research into the pneumonia virus, but have yet to identify the virus,” said the embassy.
According to Kazinform, the state news agency of Kazakhstan, the number of pneumonia cases “increased 2.2 times in June as compared to the same period of 2019”. It is also said that the provinces of Atyrau and Aktobe and the city of Shymkent were most affected.
Kazakhstan had 1,772 pneumonia deaths in the first part of the year, 628 of which happened in June, including some Chinese nationals. Saule Kisikova, the health care department chief in the capital Nur-Sultan also mentioned that 300 people diagnosed with pneumonia are being hospitalised every day.
Despite the reports, Kazakhstan’s healthcare ministry said that the information published regarding a new kind of pneumonia in Kazakhstan is incorrect. They aren’t sure if the pneumonia it referred to was caused by a virus related to coronavirus or a different strain. The ministry and other health institutions were carrying out a “comparative study”, but no conclusions had yet been made yet.
As for coronavirus stats, Kazakhstan had a massive jump on the 1st July, of almost 20K recorded COVID-19 infections in a day. They also currently have more than 50,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 264 deaths.