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(FILES) In this file photo taken on June 29, 2020 People wearing face masks stand in a line outside a pharmacy in Almaty. (Photo by Ruslan PRYANIKOV / AFP)

‘Unknown pneumonia’ in Kazakhstan deadlier than COVID-19, warns China

PTI

Beijing

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 “unknown pneumonia in Kazakhstan caused 1,772 deaths in the first six months of the year, including 628 people in June alone”, the Chinese embassy in the central Asian country said in a statement on its WeChat platform on Thursday, adding that the fatalities also included Chinese citizens.

“The fatality rate of the disease is much higher than COVID-19,” state-run Global Times quoted the embassy’s statement on Friday.

Many organisations including Kazakhstan’s health department are studying the “virus of this pneumonia”, the embassy said.

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.

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