Russia Says February Covid-19 Toll Is Nearly Double Early Count

Russia’s death toll from Covid-19 grew to 24,369 in February, nearly double initial reports, in a stark illustration of the price the country is paying for opting not to lock down during the pandemic’s second wave.

The data released by the Federal Statistics Service on Friday includes people who were infected with the virus though it was not regarded as the cause of death. They raised overall fatalities in Russia linked to the epidemic to 225,572 after the death toll for January was revised up slightly.

Russia Says February Covid-19 Toll Is Nearly Double Early Count

President Vladimir Putin opted against a return to lockdown as cases began to rise late last year, helping cushion the economic impact of the pandemic but contributing to the third-most deaths globally after the U.S. and Brazil.

The health crisis has eased recently, with the number of new daily infections currently under 10,000 from nearly 30,000 at the end of December, the deadliest month of the pandemic.

Russia remains well behind many other nations in its vaccination campaign, sparking fears of a third wave of Covid-19 infections. Only about 4.3% of the population has had a first dose of vaccine, compared to 11% in Turkey, 30% in the U.S. and nearly half of the U.K.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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