According to China, an unknown new virus "with a mortality rate far higher than Covid-19" is spreading in Kazakhstan: "628 dead in June »
Sylvie Claire / July 10, 2020
Kazakhstan on Friday denied claims by the Chinese Embassy that a new virus, more deadly than SARS-Cov-2, is spreading in several regions of this gigantic country in central Asia.
In a message to its citizens, the Chinese embassy in Nur-Sultan, the Kazakh capital, warned on Thursday against a new disease "with a mortality rate far higher than Covid-19" which, he said , caused 1,772 deaths in the first six months of 2020 and "628 in June alone »
"The Kazakh Ministry of Health and other government agencies are investigating the nature of a lung virus the origin of which has not yet been determined. Local authorities are even reporting hundreds of new infections every day in certain places, ”said the report.
The press release initially spoke of “Kazakh pneumonia” but this term was then replaced by “non-Covid pneumonia”. According to the embassy, three regions of Kazakhstan are affected and Chinese people are therefore among the victims. She asked local Chinese to avoid crowded places and to stay at home if possible.
The claims "of the Chinese media" do not "correspond to reality", assured the Kazakh Ministry of Health on Friday in a statement quoted by the local media, without however mentioning the statement from the Chinese Embassy.
The ministry also reported on patients registered as having pneumonia, not the new coronavirus, although they had symptoms because the Covid-19 test results were negative.
Kazakh authorities reintroduced containment measures last week to counter the upsurge in coronavirus cases: in total, the country officially registered 57,747 infections and 264 deaths on Friday, but, as among its neighbors in Central Asia, it is accused by observers and NGOs to minimize the scale of the pandemic.
The lack of good quality testing is cited as a reason for this underestimation.
In an article dealing with the denial of the Ministry of Health, the pro-government site Tengri News quotes a doctor who ensures that the rise in cases of pneumonia is "a manifestation of the coronavirus".
In neighboring Kyrgyzstan, the Ministry of Health has announced that pneumonia will now be included among the cases of Covid-19.