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Russia Marks Highest-Ever Covid-19 Death Toll for Second Day

The record toll comes as Russia continues to battle the surging Delta variant first detected in India. Denis Grishkin / Moskva News Agency

Russia recorded its highest-ever daily death toll from the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic on Wednesday, the country's Covid-19 task force said.

Russia reported 23,827 new coronavirus cases and 786 deaths on Wednesday as the country battles the surging Delta variant first detected in India.

The country’s previous record daily death count of 780 fatalities was recorded Tuesday.

Russia now has the fourth-highest number of Covid-19 cases in the world, surpassed only by the U.S., India and Brazil, according to the World Health Organization.  

Its total death toll, 144,492, is sixth-highest in the world, but experts warn that this figure is likely undercounted. Russia’s total excess fatality count since the start of the coronavirus pandemic is around 483,000.

The country's latest spike in infections and deaths has been attributed to low vaccination rates, with just 20% of the population vaccinated with at least one dose as of Wednesday, in addition to reduced vaccine effectiveness against the more-contagious Delta strain. 

Authorities in Moscow and several other Russian regions have introduced compulsory vaccination of service workers and new restrictions on unvaccinatede people in recent weeks in an effort to slow the spread.

Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine produces a weaker immune response against aggressive new mutations of the coronavirus such as the Delta variant, the jabs’ developers announced Monday in a new peer-reviewed study.

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