Russia reported a record number of coronavirus deaths and cases Thursday as Moscow and five other regions went into a partial lockdown to curb infections.
According to government figures, 1,159 people died from Covid in the past 24 hours.
Another 40,096 people have been infected — a daily record since the start of the pandemic.
Thursday’s increases bring the official death toll to 235,057 — Europe’s highest — though authorities are accused of drastically downplaying that figure.
A Moscow Times analysis of excess deaths published by the federal statistics agency Rosstat puts Russia's total excess fatality count since the start of the pandemic at 660,000.
Russia’s total caseload is approaching 8.4 million, the fifth-highest in the world.
The latest record figures come days before Russia’s mandated paid vacation for non-essential workers that aims to halt the spread of the virus driven by the infectious Delta variant and low vaccination rates goes into effect from this Saturday, Oct. 30, to Nov. 7.
Moscow and five other regions started their non-working periods two days early on Thursday.
President Vladimir Putin has authorized regional leaders to extend their “non-working” periods if cases do not fall during that time.