Now, China claims Kazakhstan's 'unknown pneumonia' deadlier than COVID-19

WION New Delhi Jul 10, 2020, 08.43 PM(IST) Jul 10, 2020, 08.50 PM(IST) Edited By: Palki Sharma

Mongolia pollution Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The Chinese embassy in Kazakhstan had issued a warning on July 19 informing the Chinese citizens in Kazakhstan that an unknown pneumonia had killed over 1,700 people.

First came the Wuhan virus, then the swine flu scare followed by the bubonic plague in inner Mongolia, China is deepening the global health crisis by failing to contain one outbreak after another.

Beijing has been busy profiteering from the pandemic - flexing muscles in Ladakh, nitpicking on other countries, the latest being Kazakhstan. China now claims Kazakhstan is experiencing an outbreak of what it calls an "unknown pneumonia".

China says that this "unknown pneumonia" is deadlier than the Wuhan virus. Earlier, the Chinese embassy in Kazakhstan had issued a warning on July 19 informing the Chinese citizens in Kazakhstan that an unknown pneumonia had killed over 1,700 people. The embassy said that the cases of unidentified pneumonia are on the rise. China surprisingly was also armed with data.

It said that the unknown pneumonia had killed nearly 1800 people this year with over 620 deaths taking place in June alone. The Chinese embassy said that the unknown pneumonia was spreading in the regions of Atyrau, Aktobe and Shymkent while maintaining that it was "much deadlier than COIVD-19".

China, however, has not yet released verified data on the Wuhan virus.

Kazakhstan claims that China's information "is not consistent with reality". Kazakhstan, however, has acknowledged the presence of "viral pneumonia of unspecified aetiology" but it says that the outbreak is neither new nor unknown adding that the WHO guidelines were followed.

Kazakhstan has not released any data but media reports claim that pneumonia cases in capital Nursultan, has more than doubled in June with more than 200 people being admitted to hospitals every day.

The question being asked is what are we to make of this? Is this a new virus? or is this virus related to COVID-19? and is China trying to wash its hands off another potential outbreak? one that Beijing itself claims "is deadlier than COVID-19".

It is something that the World Health Organisation will have to decide.

As far as China is concerned, it is better off concentrating on the numerous problems crying for attention back home maybe it can start by releasing data points on the origin of the Wuhan virus.

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