13 Jan 2020 18:20

Kazakhstan tightens control on air, railway routes due to outbreak of viral pneumonia in China

NUR-SULTAN. Jan 13 (Interfax) - Control has been tightened on air and railway routes in Kazakhstan due to the outbreak of viral pneumonia in the Chinese city of Wuhan, chairman of the Health Ministry's Quality and Safety Committee Lyudmila Byurabekova said at a press conference on Monday.

"As a committee, we've taken a number of measures. The chief sanitary inspector has issued a decree on all necessary measures for this situation. Our transport department has intensified control everywhere where railroad and air communication with China exists. Pilots and flight attendants have been trained, special memos for people entering and leaving the country have been issued. We have also informed the Foreign Ministry of the situation and told them to inform everyone who leaves Kazakhstan," Byurabekova said.

She also said that no new instances of pneumonia have been registered in China at present.

"The first instance was registered on December 8, 2019, and the last was on January 3, 2020. According to the WHO [World Health Organization], a total of 41 cases of this illness have been confirmed. Seven patients are in serious condition, and one has died of a serious associated pathology. No new instances of this illness have been registered at present. The illness rate is associated more with people working at a seafood market in the city of Wuhan or who were regular visitors there," Byurabekova said.

A new type of coronavirus caused an outbreak of viral pneumonia in Wuhan, an administrative center of the central Chinese province Hubei, in early January. According to Chinese authorities, 59 cases were registered in Hubei as of January 5, and seven people are in critical condition.

According to Chinese media reports, there is no clear indication that the disease is transmitted human-to-human. Those who are sick are believed to have contracted the infection through contact with animals or live seafood.