Moscow: Russia’s Federal Statistics Service said 45,663 people have died with Covid-19 in April through August, more than double the death toll released by the government’s virus-response staff.
The latest figures from the statistics agency, known as Rosstat, include deaths both directly attributed to the novel coronavirus and cases where it was listed as an “important condition” leading to the lethal outcome.
The government’s virus-response staff puts the total deaths at 21,475 from the start of the epidemic through Oct. 4. According to those figures, the accuracy of which has been questioned by the World Health Organization and outside experts, Russia has one of the lowest death rates in the world.
But the Rosstat figures put Russia’s performance more in line with other countries with large outbreaks. Russia has reported the fourth-largest number of cases in the world.
The Rosstat data showed Covid-19 deaths dropped in August to 7,463 from 10,371 in July.
Deaths from all causes were 71,700 ahead of last year in the first eight months of the year, according to Rosstat. Combined with a lower number of births in the period, the higher death toll means Russia reported a 346,900 reduction in population in the first eight months of 2020, a 58% increase from the year before.
The numbers of cases and deaths reported by the virus-response staff have been rising in recent weeks and authorities have reopened temporary hospitals and reimposed some restrictions to limit the spread of the virus.
The worst outbreaks are in big cities like Moscow, but the situation overall remains under control, Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said Monday, according to the official Tass news agency.
Alexei Kudrin, the head of a government audit agency, said Monday that Russia is experiencing a “second wave” of the virus that will mean the economic contraction this year is a bit deeper than the 3.9% the government now forecasts. – Bloomberg
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