The Chinese Embassy on Thursday issued an alert to citizens over concerns of a "deadly pneumonia" sweeping Kazakhstan after the former Soviet Republic reported a spike in cases since June.
"The death rate of this disease is much higher than the novel coronavirus," the embassy said in a warning to Chinese citizens in the country. "The country's health departments are conducting comparative research into the pneumonia virus, but have yet to identify the virus.
"The Chinese embassy in Kazakhstan reminds Chinese nationals here to be aware of the situation and step up prevention to lower the infection risks," the embassy statement said.
Kazakhstan borders Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
The pneumonia has killed 1,772 people since June. The health ministry of Kazakhstan is conducting research on confirmed cases and will release the information as early as next week, according to the Global Times.
Kazakhstan's COVID-19 lockdown was lifted May 11, but restrictions and quarantine measures have been implemented in some areas following a surge in pneumonia cases.
Kazakhstan's President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on Tuesday said the situation with the coronavirus spread within the country is still serious, and it is still early to relax restrictions.
"We are, in fact, facing the second coronavirus wave coupled with a huge uptick in pneumonia cases," the president stated.
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