Russia Says Coronavirus Deaths More Than Double Earlier Figure

Russia’s Federal Statistics Service said Friday 55,671 people have died with Covid-19 from April through September, more than double the direct toll reported earlier.

September’s total was 9,798, up 25% from August. The data from Rosstat, as the agency is known, include lethal cases directly attributed to Covid-19 and those where the coronavirus was reported as an “important condition.”

Considered more accurate because they are based on death certificates, the Rosstat figures are far above the daily totals released by the government’s virus-response center. Those, which include only deaths attributed to Covid-19, put the toll through the end of October at 28,235. Those numbers have been questioned by the World Health Organization and foreign experts.

Russia Says Coronavirus Deaths More Than Double Earlier Figure

The virus-response center earlier Friday reported a one-day record of 20,582 new infections, bringing the total to 1.73 million, the fourth-largest in the world. The government has imposed new restrictions as the virus’ spread has accelerated in recent weeks, especially outside the capital, Moscow. But the Kremlin so far has resisted a broad lockdown like those imposed in some European countries.

The Rosstat figures showed Covid-19 was the single largest contributor to a surge in deaths in the first nine months of the year, which totaled 1.46 million, up 103,400 from the year before. In September, overall deaths were up 23%.

The government is counting on vaccines to help turn the tide against the virus but has run into problems scaling up production.

Last month, Industry Minister Denis Manturov said Russia would produce no more than 2.3 million doses this year, far below earlier forecasts of as many as 30 million.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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