Russia reports record daily COVID deaths

Health authorities register 852 deaths on Tuesday as cases continue to rise amid low vaccine uptake rates.

The tally represents the highest death toll in Europe and fifth-highest globally [Tatyana Makeyeva/Reuters]

Russia has recorded its highest single-day coronavirus death toll during a surge in infections fuelled by the highly infectious Delta variant and a stuttering mass vaccination drive.

On Tuesday, authorities reported 852 deaths in the preceding 24 hours. The previous record figure for a single day was 828 deaths, registered on September 24.

Overall, Russia has recorded more than 205,000 COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began, according to official figures.

The tally represents the highest death toll in Europe and fifth-highest globally.

There are now mounting concerns a fourth wave of infections is under way, weeks after millions of Russian students returned to schools and colleges.

Since last Thursday, the state coronavirus task force has been reporting more than 21,000 new daily cases, up from an average of about 18,000 in mid-September.

Authorities registered 21,559 new infections on Tuesday, down from the 22,236 reported on Monday.

Despite the rising caseload, few nationwide public restrictions have been put in place. Russia had one, six-week lockdown early this year.

Authorities in the capital Moscow have tightened controls over mandatory mask-wearing amid fears about the rise in infections.

Deputy Mayor Anastasia Rakova has said that the Delta variant now accounts for all of the cases in the city.

Vaccination rates have remained low in Russia compared with most European nations, with only 32 percent of the country’s 146-million population partially vaccinated and 28 percent fully vaccinated.

The Kremlin initially set a goal of fully inoculating 60 percent of Russia’s population by September, but later dropped that target, even though free jabs have been available since early December.

Source: News Agencies