A deadly ‘unknown pneumonia’ that has a higher death rate than Covid-19 is understood to have broken out in Kazakhstan, Chinese officials warned. The Chinese embassy, which quoted local media reports, said Atyrau and Aktobe counties as well as Skymkent city had seen a spike in cases of the illness since mid-June. Kazakhstan’s Health Ministry said it had recorded more than 32,000 cases of pneumonia and 451 deaths from the illness between June 29 and July 5 alone. The embassy said the central Asian nation had 1,772 deaths in the first half of the year, including 628 las month – some of whom were Chinese nationals.
It then described the sickness as an “unknown pneumonia” even though officials in Kazakhstan did not say whether there was anything unusual about it. A spokesman for the embassy said: “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.” Diplomats urged Chinese nationals to take the same precautions as with Covid-19. They urged Chinese nationals not to leave their homes unless necessary, wearing a face mask, practicing social distancing and washing hands regularly.
Saule Kisikova, the health care department chief in Nur-Sultan – the country’s capital – told state media hundreds were being struck down by the disease. He added: “Some 300 people diagnosed with pneumonia are being hospitalized every day.” It is believed the mortality rate from the pneumonia increased four times in June, compared to the same month last year. The outbreak comes after Chinese officials in the city of Bayannur have identified a case of bubonic plague and have sounded the alarm. According to reports, the case was reported on Saturday in a hospital in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of Bayannur. –Daily Star