CNN: Reports of a New “Viral Pneumonia of unspecified Etiology” Infecting Hundreds in Kazakhstan

From CNN:
In a statement on Friday, the Kazakhstan health ministry acknowledged the presence of “viral pneumonias of unspecified etiology,” but denied that the outbreak was new or unknown.
“In response to these reports, the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan officially declares that this information does not correspond to reality,” the statement read.
It added the “unspecified” pneumonia classification followed World Health Organization guidelines “for the registration of pneumonia when the coronavirus infection is diagnosed clinically or epidemiologically but is not confirmed by laboratory testing.”
…CNN has been unable to independently verify the Chinese Embassy report and has reached out to Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Healthcare for further details.
When asked about the outbreak on Friday, a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs told reporters, “We would also like to get more information. China hopes to work together with Kazakhstan to fight the epidemic and to safeguard the two countries public health security.”
In a statement posted on its social media, the Kazakhstan Health Ministry said Minister Aleksey Tsoy had spoken about a number of pneumonia cases nationwide at a briefing on Thursday. These cases included different types of bacterial, fungal and viral pneumonia — including some of “unspecified etiology.”
Tsoy told the briefing that all registered cases of pneumonia in the country rose by more than 300% in June compared to the same month in 2019, from 7,964 last year to 32,724 in 2020. Related deaths rose by 129%, from 274 in June 2019 to 628 in the same month this year.

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