China warns of Kazakhstan’s ‘unknown pneumonia’ which is deadlier than coronavirus

China has warned its citizens living in Kazakhstan of a local ‘unknown pneumonia’ which, it said, has a ‘much higher’ fatality rate than the Covid-19 disease. The Chinese embassy in the central Asian country said that the ‘unknown pneumonia in Kazakhstan caused 1,772 deaths in the first six months of the year, including 628 people in June alone’ and the fatalities also included Chinese citizens. The embassy said, ‘The fatality rate of the disease is much higher than Covid-19. Many organisations including Kazakhstan’s health department are studying the ‘virus of this pneumonia.” There has not been any indication whether this disease is related to the Covid-19. Some Chinese experts said that measures should be taken to prevent the pneumonia from spreading into China. Kazakhstan borders China’s northwest Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The embassy is reminding the Chinese citizens in Kazakhstan to raise their awareness of measures to prevent the spread of the virus. It quoted local media as saying that since mid-June, almost 500 people have been infected with the pneumonia in three regions of Kazakhstan. On Friday, however, Kazakhstan’s healthcare ministry branded Chinese media reports based on the embassy statement as ‘fake news’. The ministry said its tallies of bacterial, fungal and viral pneumonia infections, which also included cases of unclear causes, were in line with World Health Organisation guidelines. Kazakhstan has reported 51,059 cases of Covid-19, including 264 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus resource centre. The US and many countries have accused China of hiding the Covid-19 data from the world. However, China has denied covering up the extent of its coronavirus outbreak and accused the US of attempting to divert public attention.