Russia hits record number of daily COVID-19 deaths

Russia hits record number of daily COVID-19 deaths
In this Monday, July 12, 2021 filer, a medical worker wearing protective gear escorts a man, suspected of having coronavirus, at a hospital in Kommunarka, outside Moscow, Russia. Russia has reported a record daily death toll from COVID-19. It's the fifth time in a week that deaths have hit a new high in the country. The national coronavirus task force said Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021 that 890 deaths were recorded over the past day. That exceeds the 887 reported on Friday. Credit: AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, File

Russia on Sunday reported a record daily death toll from COVID-19, the fifth time in a week that deaths have hit a new high.

The national coronavirus task force said 890 deaths were recorded over the past day, exceeding the 887 reported on Friday. The task force also said the number of new infections in the past day was the second-highest of the year at 25,769.

Overall, Russia, a nation of 146 million people, has Europe's highest death toll from the pandemic, nearly 210,000 people.

Yet despite the country's persistent rise in daily deaths and new cases, Russian officials say there are no plans to impose a lockdown. Mask-wearing regulations are in place but are loosely enforced.

Moscow briefly tried during the summer to require proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test for indoor customers at restaurants and bars, but abandoned the program after business owners complained of reduced revenues.

Even though Russia boasted of creating the world's first coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik V, only 32.5% of its people have gotten at least one vaccine shot and only 28% are fully vaccinated. Critics have principally blamed a botched vaccine rollout and mixed messages the authorities have been sending about the outbreak.

  • Russia hits record number of daily COVID-19 deaths
    in this Tuesday, July 13, 2021 file photo, a medical staffer wearing a special suit to protect against coronavirus prepares to treat a patient with COVID-19 at the City hospital No. 52 for coronavirus patients in Moscow, Russia. Russia has reported a record daily death toll from COVID-19. It's the fifth time in a week that deaths have hit a new high in the country. The national coronavirus task force said Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021 that 890 deaths were recorded over the past day. That exceeds the 887 reported on Friday. Credit: AP Photo/Denis Kaminev, File
  • Russia hits record number of daily COVID-19 deaths
    In this Sept. 29, 2021, file photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan talk to each other during their meeting in the Bocharov Ruchei residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia. In Russia, it's common to get an antibody test for the coronavirus and share the results. Putin referred to his own test results while talking to Erdogan, bragging about how he avoided infection even though dozens of people around him caught the virus, including someone who spent a whole day with him. Credit: Vladimir Smirnov/Sputnik, Kremlin/Pool Photo via AP
  • Russia hits record number of daily COVID-19 deaths
    In this July 12, 2021, file photo, a medical worker administers a shot of Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine at a vaccination center in Gostinny Dvor, a huge exhibition place in Moscow, Russia. In Russia, it's common to get an antibody test and share the results. The tests are cheap, widely available and actively marketed by private clinics nationwide, and their use appears to be a factor in the country's low vaccination rate even as daily deaths and infections are rising again. Credit: AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, File
  • Russia hits record number of daily COVID-19 deaths
    In this Sept. 12, 2021, an elderly man wearing a face mask and gloves to protect against the coronavirus rides a subway car in Moscow, Russia. When Russians discuss the coronavirus—from ordinary conversations to remarks even by President Vladimir Putin—the talk often turns to "antitela." That's the Russian word for antibodies—the proteins produced by the body to fight infection. Credit: AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File

In addition, coronavirus antibody tests are popular in Russia and some observers suggest this contributes to the low vaccination numbers.

Western health experts say the antibody tests are unreliable either for diagnosing COVID-19 or assessing immunity to it. The antibodies that these tests look for can only serve as evidence of a past infection. Scientists say it's still unclear what level of antibodies indicates that a person has protection from the virus and for how long.

President Vladimir Putin has observed periods of self-isolation since mid-September after dozens of people in the Kremlin were found to be infected. Putin met with Turkey's leader last week after coming out of his latest isolation period.

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