Guwahati: Even as the world community is still trapping with the threat of the COVID-19 that has left a trail of death in its wake, the Chinese embassy in Kazakhstan has issued a warning about unknown pneumonia sweeping through the country after more than 600 people died of pneumonia last month.
Alarmingly, the Chinese embassy, in an advisory, said the unknown pneumonia has a fatality rate "much higher" than the Covid-19. Kazakhstan borders northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
The embassy in a statement on Thursday that the "unknown pneumonia" in Kazakhstan caused 1,772 deaths in the first six months of the year, including 628 people in June alone, including Chinese citizens, adding that the fatality rate of this new pneumonia is much higher than COVID-19.
However, the Kazakh media have only said it is pneumonia and it wasn't immediately clear if Chinese officials had more information about the pneumonia. Also, it is as of yet unclear whether the WHO have been informed about this new disease.
The Chinese embassy in Kazakhstan urged Chinese nationals to be "aware of the situation and step up prevention to lower the infection risks."
Kazakhstan's healthcare minister said on Wednesday that the number of patients sickened by the pneumonia is two to three times more than those who have been infected with Covid-19, said China-owned state media.
In Kazakhstan, a lockdown was clamped on March 16 to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic; restrictions were lifted in May but reimposed following another surge of cases, and President Kassim-Jomart Tokayev has said the country could be facing a second wave of COVID-19 infections. The President said that it was too early to relax restrictions "in fact facing the second coronavirus wave coupled with a huge uptick in pneumonia cases".