Russia broke its daily coronavirus deaths record Wednesday, passing 900 fatalities as officials warn that new case numbers have tripled since last fall and are on course to pass the 30,000 mark.
The government tally said 929 people died from Covid-19 across Russia in the past 24 hours, bringing the official death toll based on daily figures to 212,625 — Europe’s highest.
Russia has now reported all-time-high numbers of one-day Covid deaths for seven out of the last nine days with no signs of the outbreak slowing down and the country’s vaccination drive stalling at 30% of the population.
Russia’s Covid information center also reported 25,133 new infections, approaching figures seen at the height of the last wave in January. Russia is the world’s fifth most affected country by the pandemic with a total of more than 7.6 million coronavirus cases.
Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova, who oversees the nationwide Covid-19 response center, said on Tuesday that three-quarters of Russia’s regions are seeing spikes in new infections, which are nearing 30,000-cases-per-day.
“We’re currently close to passing this negative milestone,” Golikova said in a videoconference with President Vladimir Putin.
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin on Monday expressed the government’s “serious concern” about the surge in infections, saying hospitalizations have doubled compared with the same period in 2020 and criticizing “insufficient” vaccination rates.
Russia has approved at least five domestically developed Covid-19 vaccines, but its vaccination drive has stalled at under 30% of the population, according to the independent Gogov monitor.
A number of Russian regions reintroduced Covid restrictions — including self-isolation rules and closures of public spaces — in the days after Russians went to the polls to elect lawmakers and local leaders in mid-September.