Russia More Than Triples Covid-19 Death Toll in Revised Data

Russia issued new statistics for deaths linked to Covid-19 in April and May, indicating a mortality rate more than triple the level shown in previous official data.

The Federal Statistics Service on Friday reported 15,277 deaths linked to the virus in that two-month period, including those of 9,192 where Covid-19 was reported as the main cause. That compares with a figure of 4,831 deaths from coronavirus in April-May reported previously by the government.

The earlier data didn’t include cases where the virus was present but not considered the main cause, but some regions, including the capital Moscow, began reporting those figures, as well.

According to the latest statistics, overall deaths in Russia in May were up 12% from a year earlier, driven mainly by Covid-19.

Using the new data, the death rate from the virus stood at 3.7%, three times the previously reported figure. That’s still below Germany’s 4.5%, while higher than the 2.2% in South Korea, where efforts to contain the disease have been seen as successful.

Russia More Than Triples Covid-19 Death Toll in Revised Data

The Statistics Service didn’t release June data. Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said the death rates in some regions last month were higher and others were lower, without giving an overall forecast, according to a transcript posted on the government website.

The government has faced questions about the much lower number of deaths attributed to Covid-19 in comparison with other nations that also reported high total infections. The World Health Organization has said it held discussions with Russia on how officials calculate the mortality rate, which until now has been far below the global average.

Golikova said the data released Friday conform to WHO recommendations.

Russia has reported 713,916 Covid-19 cases, the fourth-largest number in the world, and 11,017 deaths, a mortality rate of 1.5%.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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