The Chinese embassy in Kazakhstan on Thursday warned its citizens in the country that the “pneumonia” was potentially deadlier than Covid-19.

The health ministry of Kazakhstan said on Friday the report was “not true”.

Kazakhstan recently re-imposed a nationwide lockdown following a rise in coronavirus cases.

According to Kazakhstan’s health ministry, the country had seen about 55,000 cases and 264 deaths by 10 July.

Kazakhstan and other Central Asian countries have also faced accusations they are underreporting significant second waves of coronavirus infections by classifying many as pneumonia.

On Friday the World Health Organization said the pneumonia reported in Kazakhstan was “on its radar” and could be Covid-19.