In Russia, 697 deaths from Covid-19 have been recorded in the past 24 hours. That is the highest number of confirmed deaths in one day since the pandemic’s start for the fifth day in a row.
The authorities attribute the record to the more contagious Delta variant of the virus in combination with a relatively low number of vaccinations. A day earlier, 679 deaths were reported.
The government’s coronavirus task force registered 24,439 new infections in the past 24 hours, bringing the official Russian total to 5,585,799.
According to government statistics, 137,262 people have died in the country from the effects of Covid-19, making Russia the hardest-hit European country. But the Rosstat statistics agency, which has a broader definition of deaths related to Covid-19, already recorded 270,000 deaths at the end of April. Newer data from that agency is not yet available.
The Kremlin said on Friday that, despite the daily rising corona figures, it is not considering a new lockdown.
Moscow is gloomy about the developments. On Tuesday, the government admitted that it would not be possible to vaccinate 60 percent of the population against the virus before the fall. As a result, expectations will be lowered, government spokesman Dmitri Peskov acknowledged. High vaccination coverage is necessary to contain the virus.
About 22.2 million of Russia’s 146 million residents have received at least one dose.