Russia confirmed a record daily increase in coronavirus infections for the second consecutive day Friday, reporting more than 18,000 new cases for the first time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The 18,283 new coronavirus cases pushes the overall number of Covid-19 cases in Russia to 1,599,976, the world’s fourth-highest number. The new milestone breaks Russia’s previous highest number of infections recorded 24 hours earlier by 566.
The national coronavirus information center said that over one-fifth (22.3%) of the newly infected Russians were asymptomatic.
Thursday’s number of symptomatic patients (13,026) was more than double the number of symptomatic patients (6,418) recorded at the peak of the outbreak in spring, the Open Media news website reported Thursday.
Russia’s coronavirus information center added that 355 people died from Covid-19 Friday, a decrease from the record 366 deaths confirmed Thursday.
Russia’s overall Covid-19 death toll based on aggregated daily figures stands at 27,656.
The latest record comes amid reports of widespread hospital bed, staff and drug shortages as the second wave of the pandemic hits Russian regions outside Moscow.
Authorities have introduced targeted prevention measures, including a national mask mandate and a recommendation to close bars and nightclubs after 11 p.m., but have avoided returning to wide-reaching lockdowns to slow the spread of Covid-19.