Russia’s June Covid Death Toll Jumped 43% as Vaccinations Lag
(Bloomberg) -- Russia’s death toll from Covid-19 in June climbed to 27,118, the highest since the virus raged in January, as vaccinations lagged and the delta variant spread across the country.
The total was up 43% from the revised May figure of 18,996 and was nearly twice the initial figures reported by the government, according to Federal Statistics Service data released late Friday. That brings total fatalities in Russia linked to the epidemic to 316,793 through June, among the highest in the world.
Vaccine uptake has been slow, with only about 39 million people inoculated. That’s less than 30% of the total population. The Kremlin admitted in June that Russia would fail to reach a target of vaccinating 60% of the adult population by autumn.
The government’s coronavirus response staff’s daily death figures surged in June and kept climbing through July. The Federal Statistics Service’s data, released weeks later, has consistently reflected a higher number of direct deaths, as well as cases where infected people died but Covid wasn’t regarded as the cause.
A surge of infections fueled by the highly-contagious delta variant forced many regions to make vaccination mandatory for some workers and adopt other measures to pressure people to get the shots.
Even as infections continue to rise in many regions, the government is learning to contain new waves faster than before, Anna Popova, head of the government’s public health watchdog, said on state television Friday.
The number of daily coronavirus infections reached the highest since the start of the year in July before starting to decline as people went on the summer vacations.
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