“The information published by some Chinese media regarding a new kind of pneumonia in Kazakhstan is incorrect,” the ministry said.
Kazakhstan, which imposed a second lockdown this week to rein in the pandemic, has a tally of almost 55,000 COVID-19 infections, including 264 deaths. The number of new cases rose on Thursday to a daily record of 1962.
On Tuesday, state news agency Kazinform said the number of pneumonia cases “increased 2.2 times in June as compared to the same period of 2019”.
In its statement, the Chinese embassy had said pneumonia in Kazakhstan killed 1772 people in the year’s first half, with 628 deaths in June, including Chinese citizens.
“The mortality rate of the disease is much higher than that of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus,” it said. It is unclear whether the pneumonia it referred to was caused by a virus related to coronavirus or a different strain.
Kazakhstan’s Health Ministry and other health institutions were carrying out a “comparative study”, but no conclusions had yet been made, the embassy added.
The Global Times tabloid run by China’s People’s Daily has said Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry “did not respond to questions about the Chinese embassy’s warning”.