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Russia announces virus deaths exceed 10,000

04 July 2020, MVT 20:55
An elderly woman wearing a face mask and gloves - a measure against the spread of the coronavirus disease - prepares to cast her ballot in a nationwide vote on constitutional reforms at a polling station in Saint Petersburg on July 1, 2020. (Photo by OLGA MALTSEVA / AFP)
04 July 2020, MVT 20:55

Russia on Saturday said that it recorded more than 10,000 deaths from the coronavirus pandemic, a toll that is still far lower than in other countries with major outbreaks.

The number of deaths has now reached 10,027, the government information website said, up by 168 from Friday.

Russia has confirmed 674,515 cases, the third largest total in the world, although the daily infection rate has been falling over the last month.

The country's death toll is much lower than in other countries with large outbreaks, raising questions over possible underreporting of deaths.

Russia has acknowledged that the death figure on the government website only includes cases where the virus was classed as the main cause of death on the death certificate.

The official statistics agency has released national death data for April alone, where the toll -- of 2,712 -- is more than double the government's total of 1,152 for that month.

That is because it uses a broader definition on the basis of World Health Organization recommendations and includes cases where the victim tested positive but the virus was not classified as the main cause of death, or where there was no positive test but an autopsy ruled the virus was the main cause of death.

Moscow city health department also released data on deaths in May using this method of classification, showing 5,260 virus-related deaths that month.

By contrast, the government website still says that some 3,929 people in total have died so far from the virus just in Moscow.

Moscow, Russia | AFP

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