Russia reports record Covid-19 daily death toll

The government coronavirus task force reported 984 coronavirus deaths over the past 24 hours.

Russia reports record Covid-19 daily death toll

Russia has reported another record number of daily coronavirus deaths amid a slow vaccination rate and authorities’ reluctance to tighten restrictions.

The government coronavirus task force reported 984 coronavirus deaths over the past 24 hours.

The country has repeatedly marked record daily death tolls over the past few weeks as infections soared to near all-time highs, with 28,717 confirmed new cases reported on Wednesday.

The Kremlin has attributed the mounting contagion and deaths to a slow vaccination rate.

Russia Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin said there will be no national lockdown (Sergei Bobylev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

President Vladimir Putin has emphasised the need to speed up the vaccination rate but he also has cautioned against forcing people to get the shots by applying administrative pressure.

Experts have attributed the slow pace of vaccination to widespread vaccine scepticism and disinformation about Covid-19 vaccines.

The Kremlin has ruled out a new nationwide lockdown like the one during the first months of the pandemic that badly crippled the economy and dented Mr Putin’s ratings, delegating the power to enforce coronavirus restrictions to regional authorities.

Some Russian regions have restricted attendance at large public events and limited access to theatres, restaurants and other places to people who have been vaccinated, recently recovered from Covid-19 or tested negative in the previous 72 hours.

Virus Outbreak Russia
A medical worker helps a patient suspected of having coronavirus to leave an ambulance at a hospital in Kommunarka, outside Moscow (Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP)

The soaring infections have increased the pressure on Russia’s health care system, with hospitals filling up quickly.

Speaking at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said 11% of Russia’s 235,000 Covid-19 patients are in a serious or critical condition.

Overall, Russia’s coronavirus task force has registered more than 7.8 million confirmed cases and 219,329 deaths — the highest death toll in Europe.

The state statistics agency Rosstat, which also counts deaths where the virus was not considered the main cause, has reported a much higher toll of pandemic deaths — about 418,000 deaths of people with Covid-19.

If that higher number is used, Russia would be the fourth hardest-hit nation in the world during the pandemic, after the United States, Brazil and India. Even the lower mortality figure only shifts Russia down to fifth place, after Mexico.

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