Russia’s national coronavirus crisis center has stopped updating the latest Covid-19 death counts in at least two Siberian regions while the regions have published new numbers, the Tayga.info news website reported Monday.
The disparity comes amid questions over Russia’s low coronavirus death toll compared to other countries with high Covid-19 case numbers. Russia only counts the deaths of coronavirus-positive patients toward its official total if pathologists determine that the virus played a direct role in their death, leading critics to say the true toll could be much higher.
The Omsk regional crisis center has reported 16 deaths from coronavirus as of Monday. The national crisis center, meanwhile, has reported seven deaths in the region, with the most recent update coming a week ago.
The Irkutsk region has reported six deaths while the national crisis center shows four deaths, with the most recent fatality reported on April 26.
“It appears that … the federal crisis center may have simply not reflected deaths over recent days in the Omsk and Irkutsk regions,” Tayga.info reported.
In the republic of Khakassia, the national center actually reported a higher number, counting 10 deaths compared to the regional center’s nine. In the Zabaikalsky region, both national and regional crisis centers reported five overall deaths but on different days.
Additionally, Tayga.info said Russia’s crisis center posted Covid-19 case numbers in the Zabaikalsky region, the Irkutsk region and the republic of Buryatia, one or days after regional centers.
Federal data reports 74 deaths from the virus in 10 Siberian regions (85 including Zabaikalsky and Buryatia, which are now part of the Far East Federal District and not the Siberian Federal District). Tayga.info reported that at least 90 people have died and 9,109 have been infected in Siberia.
Russia’s overall coronavirus numbers stood at 290,678 cases and 2,722 deaths as of Monday, according to the national crisis center.