Kazakhstan dismisses Chinese reports of pneumonia fatal than coronavirus
SHANGHAI (CHINA) – On Friday, Kazakhstan dismissed a warning by China’s embassy for its citizens to guard against an outbreak of pneumonia in the central Asian nation. It was described as being more deadlier than the coronavirus.
In a statement released on its official WeChat account on Thursday, the Chinese embassy highlighted a “significant increase” in cases from the Kazakh cities of Atyrau, Aktobe and Shymkent since mid-June.
Kazakhstan’s healthcare ministry, however, branded Chinese media reports based on the embassy statement as “fake news”, on Friday.
The ministry said its tallies of bacterial, fungal and viral pneumonia infections, which also included cases of unclear causes, followed the World Health Organisation guidelines.
The ministry said, “The information published by some Chinese media regarding a new kind of pneumonia in Kazakhstan is incorrect.”
Kazakhstan imposed a second lockdown this week to contain the virus, owing to a tally of almost 55,000 COVID-19 infections, including 264 deaths. The number of new cases saw a rise on Thursday to a daily record of 1,962.
State news agency Kazinform said pneumonia cases “increased 2.2 times in June as compared to the same period of 2019”.
In its statement, the Chinese embassy had said pneumonia in Kazakhstan killed 1,772 people during the first half of the year. It led to 628 deaths in June, including Chinese citizens.
It said, “The mortality rate of the disease is much higher than that of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus.”
Whether the pneumonia it referred to was caused by a virus related to coronavirus or from another strain was still not clear.
Kazakhstan’s health ministry and other health institutions were carrying out a “comparative study”. However, they have not yet come to a conclusion, the embassy added.
Kazakhstan’s foreign ministry “did not respond to questions about the Chinese embassy’s warning”, according to The Global Times tabloid run by China’s People’s Daily.
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field.