Russia reports record number of new virus deaths
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Russia on Friday reported its highest ever daily coronavirus death toll of 150, even though the number of new infections fell below 9,000 for the third day in a row.
Health officials reported a total of 3,249 deaths and 326,448 cases, the second-highest number of infections in the world after the United States.
There were 8,894 new cases in the last 24 hours, according to a government tally, while 7,144 people recovered.
The strongman leader of Russia’s southern Chechnya region, Ramzan Kadyrov, was receiving treatment for a suspected coronavirus infection, news agencies reported Thursday citing sources, though his aides did not confirm it.
One of Russia’s most high-profile virus cases, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, returned to work this week after receiving treatment for the illness in hospital.
Overall, 99,825 people in Russia are no longer infected with coronavirus, health officials said Friday.
Authorities have said the situation is stabilising and half a million industrial and construction workers have been allowed to return to work in Moscow.
Russia has recorded far fewer deaths than other countries with large outbreaks, but critics have cast doubt on the low official mortality rate and accused authorities of under-reporting to play down the scale of the crisis.
Russian health officials say one of the reasons the count is lower than in the United States and parts of western Europe is that only deaths directly caused by the virus are being included. (AFP)