China warns its citizens in central Asia of an “unknown pneumonia” deadlier than Covid-19

China warns its citizens in central Asia of an
ALERT: The Chinese embassy in Kazakhstan has warned the nations citizens of a unknown strain of pneumonia that is deadlier than the Covid-19 virus. PICTURE BY Alex Plavevski

China says the illness started being noticed in mid-June.

China Thursday this week warned its citizens living in the central Asian country of Kazakhstan to be aware of a new and “unknown pneumonia” that is deadlier or has a mortality rate “higher than” the Covid-19 virus.

Kazakhstan is bordered by Russia and China in the Asian continent.

In a statement on Thursday 9 July 2020, China’s embassy in the Kazakh capital city of Nur-Sultan warned that the mortality rate of the disease was “much higher” than that of the novel Coronavirus as more than 600 people were killed by it just in June alone.

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“Kazakhstani Health Department and other agencies are conducting comparative research and have not defined the nature of the pneumonia virus,” the Chinese embassy said in the statement.

But the Kazakhstan government on Friday 10 July 2020 dismissed as incorrect the Chinese warning and said such a warning was “fake news”.

“The information published by some Chinese media regarding a new kind of pneumonia in Kazakhstan is incorrect,” the Kazakhstan health ministry said in a response statement.

It said whatever cases of infections they have in that country are in line with the guidelines of the World Health Organisation.

Kazakhstan this week imposed a second lockdown to try contain the spread of the SARS-COV-2 disease as cases ballooned to almost 55 000, including 264 deaths – with cases of pneumonia increasing “2.2 times in June 2020 as compared to the same period of 2019”, according to Kazakhstan state media Kazinform.

In its warning, the Chinese embassy said the “unknown pneumonia” in Kazakhstan had killed 1 772 people between March and June 2020, with 628 deaths in June alone, including Chinese citizens.

“The mortality rate of the disease is much higher than that of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus,” it said.

It is still not clear whether this new killer that China is talking about is related to the Corona groups of viruses.

(edited by ZK)

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