Official government statistics suggest that more than 45,000 Russians with coronavirus have died since the start of the pandemic, double the number of deaths estimated by Russia’s coronavirus task force.
According to state statistics agency Rosstat, 45,663 people diagnosed with Covid-19 have died between April and August in Russia.
The national task force, which collates daily figures based on data reported by regional crisis centers, places the total nationwide death toll at 21,475 over the past seven months. That’s less than half of Rosstat’s five-month total.
Rosstat found 7,463 coronavirus-related fatalities in August, using figures compiled from the causes of death listed on death certificates. Covid-19 was likely the main cause of death in 3,863 of these fatalities, Rosstat said in a counting practice that runs against World Health Organization guidelines.
In the other 3,600 coronavirus-related fatalities, Covid-19 either had no effect or “contributed to complications that led to the patient’s death.”
Overall, Rosstat recorded 157,181 deaths across Russia in August. That’s up by 9.6% from August 2019 and higher than an average of around 150,000 deaths in the months of August over the previous five years.
Coronavirus-related deaths declined by approximately 37% in August compared to July.
Russia's daily number of new infections is continuing to spike for a second consecutive month as the rest of Europe says it’s dealing with the onslaught of a second wave. Russian officials maintain the country is still in the midst of its first wave.
On Monday, the national task force confirmed 10,888 new Covid-19 cases, the highest daily count since May 12.
Russia has the world’s fourth-highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases at more than 1.22 million.