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Russia's Coronavirus Cases Pass 980K

Russia is the world's fourth most-affected country in terms of infections, behind the U.S., Brazil and India. Moskva News Agency

Russia confirmed 4,829 new coronavirus infections Friday, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 980,405.

Over the past 24 hours 110 people have died, bringing the total official toll to 16,914. 

Separate figures recently published by Russia’s statistics agency Rosstat found that the number of deaths from the virus could be much larger than this official tally, updated daily by the country’s coronavirus task force. It found almost 12,000 people with coronavirus died during June alone, with the virus confirmed or believed to be the main cause of death in more than 7,000 cases, while the task force figures showed only 4,880 for the same period.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Russia as of August 31. MT

The highest number of new cases were in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Russia's fatality rate has remained low compared to other badly-hit countries, raising speculation that Moscow could be underreporting figures.

Russian authorities began easing anti-virus measures in June ahead of a massive World War II military parade in Moscow and a nationwide vote on constitutional reforms that now allow President Vladimir Putin to stay in power until 2036.

Both events were initially postponed due the epidemic.

Moscow opened cinemas and theaters on Aug. 1. In the capital, masks are mandatory in stores and on public transport but not in the streets.

Several institutes in Russia are working on a coronavirus vaccine.

The Russian Defense Ministry has said it developed a "safe" vaccine following clinical trials on a group of volunteers. 

The trials are ongoing, and the Defense Ministry expects clinical trials to be fully completed in the coming weeks.

AFP contributed reporting to this article.

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