MOSCOW: Russia’s daily coronavirus death toll hit a new record on Friday amid the country’s sluggish vaccination rate and the government’s reluctance to tighten restrictions.
Russia’s state coronavirus task force on Friday reported 936 new deaths, the highest daily number since the start of the pandemic.
It was the third day in a row that daily COVID-19 deaths topped 900.
Russia already has the highest death toll in Europe at more than 214,000, and officials’ conservative way of recording COVID-19 fatalities suggests the real number could be even higher.
On Friday, the government’s task force reported 27,246 new confirmed cases, slightly lower than Thursday’s number of 27,550, the highest so far this year.
Infections and deaths began to rise sharply in late September, with officials blaming it on low vaccination rates.
As of Tuesday, about 33 percent of Russia’s 146 million people had received at least one shot of the coronavirus vaccine, and 29 percent had been fully vaccinated.
But the Kremlin has turned down the idea of imposing a new nationwide lockdown, handing the power to tighten restrictions to regional authorities.
In some regions of the country, including Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Petersburg, life remains largely normal, with businesses going on as usual and the facade essentially in place.
Some areas have limited attendance at large public events and limited access to cinemas, restaurants and other venues for people who have been vaccinated, recently recovered from COVID-19 or tested negative in the past 72 hours has gone.
However, critics argue that these measures are not enough to contain the boom.
In some regions, Russia’s largely yet critically underfunded health care system has begun to show signs of being overwhelmed by the outbreak.
In total, Russia’s coronavirus task force has recorded more than 7.7 million confirmed cases and 214,485 deaths.
However, Russia’s state statistical service Rosstat reports that deaths linked to the coronavirus retrospectively reveal higher mortality rates.