A government tally recorded 936 Covid deaths over the past 24 hours, bringing the number of total deaths based on daily figures to 213,549. Russia’s total excess fatality count since the start of the pandemic is around 596,000 according to Moscow Times estimates.
Russia broke another one-day coronavirus death toll record Friday, as more regions reimpose restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the virus and the Kremlin stops short of reintroducing nationwide measures.
Russia has now reported record numbers of one-day Covid deaths for eight of the last 11 days.
The country also recorded the world’s highest number of new Covid cases, with Russia’s virus task force saying 27,246 people tested positive in the past 24 hours.
Russia has Europe’s highest total Covid-19 death toll of at least 213,500 people, and its second-highest caseload of almost 7.7 million.
The latest figures come as several Russian regions announce a return to self-isolation rules for vulnerable people, QR codes for attending certain venues and vaccine mandates for certain segments of the population.
The Kremlin said Thursday it is working to promote Russia’s low vaccination rates without returning to Covid rules that were imposed at the start of the outbreak in the spring of 2020.
“Any measure that can encourage more people to get vaccinated is good because only vaccination saves from death,” President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
Russia’s Coronavirus Excess Death Toll Hits 660K
Russia recorded 65,000 excess deaths in August, data published Friday by the Rosstat national statistics service showed, as another brutal wave of the coronavirus pandemic continues to show no sign of abating.
The figures revealed that August 2021 was one of the most deadly months since the beginning of the pandemic in Russia, with the country seeing a 45% increase in deaths from all causes compared to the same month in 2019.
Russia’s total excess death toll since the beginning of the pandemic until the end of August, the most recent available data , stands at 660,000 — one of the highest rates in the world both in absolute terms and on a per capita basis.
With one of the world’s highest vaccine hesitancy levels, Russia’s vaccination rates have remained stubbornly low at around 30% of the population despite its homemade Sputnik V vaccine having been widely available for free since last winter. Amid a fourth wave which has seen infection numbers approach record highs in recent days, several Russian regions have reintroduced restrictions such as vaccine passports for entry to crowded indoor areas and mandatory vaccinations for certain workers.
Excess deaths — a measure which compares fatalities from all causes to pre-pandemic figures — is seen by demographers as the most reliable measure of lives lost to Covid-19.
Rosstat said some 43,580 people in Russia died from Covid-19 in August, with the virus present but not deemed the main cause of death in another 5,809 cases.
The country’s national coronavirus task force, which publishes daily tallies of infections and deaths, had initially recorded fewer than 25,000 fatalities during the same period.
Russia has been accused of undercounting Covid-19 fatalities from the start of the pandemic, as it only considers deaths where the virus was the sole contributor toward its official toll.
Politicians and health officials stepped up warnings of a fourth wave of the coronavirus following last month’s parliamentary elections as cases and hospitalizations have risen both in the capital Moscow and in Russia’s regions.