Under a new rule, the Kyrgyz health ministry has chosen to include pneumonia patients in the COVID-19 statistics. Neighbouring Kazakhstan has already practised that approach, 24.kg reports.
Since mid-June, Kyrgyzstan has experienced a wave of pneumonia cases. The hospitals have been inundated with patients with pneumonia, which, however, have hitherto not been counted in the official statistics. This week only, seven patients were officially recorded as having died from COVID-19. Another 29 patients died from pneumonia, an otherwise rare condition at this time of year. Even the ex-president Almazbek Atambaev was hospitalised with double pneumonia last week.
Kyrgyzstan prime minister Kubatbek Boronov has earlier tacitly acknowledged that the surge in pneumonia cases is due to the COVID, and yesterday he did this explicitly.
In addition, parliamentary deputy Elvira Surabaldieva condemned the health ministry for running two sets of statistics. “Why are you separating COVID-19 deaths from pneumonia deaths? Community-acquired pneumonia is itself a complication arising from COVID-19,” Surabaldieva defended her opinion.
Kyrgyzstan faced pneumonia outbreak this summer
Amid pneumonia outbreak, the emergency hospital capacity has been increased in Bishkek, among them are four new “day hospitals” for mild and moderate pneumonia cases and a new field hospital in Osh.
Many, however, are questioning what the Kyrgyz authorities did with the time they won through initially-successful lockdown measures between March and May.
Surely, Kyrgyzstan did make plans, the government did prepare and that wasn’t even a question of money. As the head of the Cabinet stressed today, ‘we didn’t have time to buy all the necessary equipment.’
“In two or three months it is not possible to solve problems in the healthcare system that have accumulated over 30 years. If we had bought oxygen concentrators a week earlier then maybe the situation would not have deteriorated like it did. Over the last two days, we can see that the turmoil has died down,” Prime Minister Boronov told journalists at the press conference today.