Russia set a fourth consecutive daily record for coronavirus infections Monday as the Omicron variant continues to spread across the country.
A total of 65,109 new infections were recorded over the past 24 hours, according to the government’s Covid-19 task force.
Moscow, the epicenter of Russia’s outbreak, also reported a record of 17,528 confirmed infections.
The task force said the Delta variant still accounts for more than half of new infections, with Omicron and other variants making up less than 50%, according to the state-run RIA Novosti news agency.
Vaccine skepticism is widespread among Russians, with January so far recording close to the lowest number of people seeking jabs since the nationwide campaign was launched in December 2020.
The data shows cases nationwide and in the Russian capital more than doubling in the space of a week, though the Kremlin said Omicron’s milder severity showed no need to impose fresh restrictions.
Russia’s Covid-19 task force said 655 people died from the virus in the last 24 hours, similar to the daily death tallies reported in the past week.
Independent demographer Alexei Raksha has forecast up to 2 million daily Covid-19 cases in Russia by the peak of the outbreak in early February, while suggesting that official statistics will only reflect 250,000 daily infections.
Russia’s public health officials, who have been warning of a surge in infections since the start of 2022, have forecast daily case numbers at more than 100,000 in the coming weeks.
Russia has the world’s sixth-highest number of officially confirmed total Covid-19 cases, at 11.1 million, and Europe’s highest number of deaths.