By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Chinese media are reporting that The Chinese Embassy in Kazakhstan on Thursday warned Chinese citizens living in the country of a local pneumonia of unknown cause, which local media reported has a “much higher” fatality rate than COVID-19.

Image/Kazakhstan MOH

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, the embassy said in a statement on its WeChat platform on Thursday, citing Kazakh media reports.

The fatality rate of the disease is much higher than COVID-19, and organizations including Kazakhstan’s health department are studying the “virus of this pneumonia,” the embassy quoted media.

There hasn’t been any indication whether this disease is related to the COVID-19.

However, Kazakhstan’s Health Minsitry is calling this out as “fake news”. In a press release today they say (computer translated):

Some Chinese media disseminate information about reported cases of unknown pneumonia in Kazakhstan that seems to be more deadly than coronavirus.
The Ministry of Healthcare of the Republic of Kazakhstan officially declares that this information IS NOT CONSISTENT WITH REALITY.

It is important to note that WHO introduced pneumonia codes into the International Classification of Diseases – ICD 10, in cases when COVID-19 is diagnosed clinically or epidemiologically, for example with the “ground glass” opacities in the affected lungs, but is not laboratory-confirmed.

In this regard, Kazakhstan, like other countries of the world, keeps records and monitoring of this kind of pneumonia, in order to make timely managerial decisions aimed at stabilizing the incidence and prevalence of COVID-19.
On July 9 the Minister of Healthcare of Kazakhstan Alexey Tsoy indicated the total number of pneumonia cases in the country: bacterial, fungal, viral origin, including “viral pneumonia, unspecified organism” as defined in ICD-10.

Consequently, the Ministry of Healthcare of the Republic of Kazakhstan emphasizes that the reports of the Chinese media IS NOT CONSISTENT WITH REALITY.