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Russia’s Coronavirus Cases Surge By 10K as Total Surpasses 260K

Russia confirmed 10,598 new coronavirus infections Friday, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 262,843.

Russia is now the second most-affected country in terms of infections and has the world’s second-fastest rate of new infections behind the United States.

One hundred and thirteen people died over the past 24 hours, bringing the total toll to 2,305.

The Kremlin this week eased a national lockdown to slow the spread of the virus, despite a steady rise in numbers that has brought Russia to second place in a global tally of infections, behind the United States.

A majority of Russia’s new cases were registered in the capital, a government virus tally said, where Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has extended a lockdown until the end of May.

President Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, on Tuesday became the most recent senior figure in government to announce they had tested positive for the coronavirus.

He told reporters he was receiving treatment in the hospital.

Despite the steady rise in new cases, Russia’s reported mortality rate is significantly lower compared to other European countries hit hard by the pandemic.

Authorities say the low mortality rate is because Russia was able to learn lessons from the experiences of western Europe, moving quickly to isolate travellers and people at risk, convert hospitals for virus patients and launch a vast campaign to test and quarantine those infected.

Officials also credit a widespread testing and tracking effort, saying they have carried out nearly 6 million tests, though critics have cast doubt on the numbers, as Russia uses a different classification method to count the deceased.

AFP contributed reporting to this article.

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