Russia is expected to register a spike in mortality for the month of May, Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova said on Friday, as the country battles a coronavirus outbreak.
"There will be a significant mortality increase in May" despite doctors trying to "save the maximum number of patients," Golikova said, without referring specifically to deaths from the virus.
"The illness and chronic conditions don't always have a positive ending," Golikova said at a government meeting with President Vladimir Putin and healthcare professionals.
Russia registered 150 deaths from the coronavirus on Friday, its highest daily rate to date, amid criticism that officials are under-reporting many coronavirus fatalities to play down the scale of the crisis.
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin also said he expects a higher mortality rate for the month of May.
"The number of deaths from the coronavirus will be higher in May than in April, because the virus peak was in the beginning of May," Sobyanin said.
Health officials reported a total of 3,249 deaths and 326,448 cases on Friday, the second-highest number of infections in the world after the United States.