Russia today reported 652 deaths in the past 24 hours, the highest number of people who have died in a single day since the outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
St. Petersburg, the city that will host the UEFA EURO 2020 final 8 tournament on July 2, also reported a record 119 deaths in a single day. Russia is struggling to cope with a surge in infections caused by the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus.
Some experts say Russia is significantly underreporting the number of deaths from the disease, counting only those cases where autopsies reveal the disease to be the main cause of death.
The number of confirmed cases across Russia has increased by 26,616, bringing the total number of infected people to nearly 5.5 million. According to AFP, Russia ranks 5th in the world in terms of the number of confirmed cases.
The surge in confirmed cases has hit St. Petersburg and the capital, Moscow, hard in the past few weeks, and authorities have reintroduced restrictions against the epidemic.
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said the Delta variant, first identified in India, accounts for 90 percent of confirmed cases in the capital.
Russia has lost 134,545 people to the disease, the highest total number of untreated cases in Europe, but authorities are still accused of downplaying the severity of the outbreak in the country.
The Russian Federal Statistics Service (Rosstat) said in late April that at least 270,000 people had died in Russia since the outbreak began.