MOSCOW — Russia matches its record daily coronavirus death toll, as the Delta variant and a slowing vaccine drive push up infections.
A government tally reports 820 fatalities over the past 24 hours and 21,438 new cases. It previously reported the same death toll in late August.
Russia, the fifth worst-hit country globally in terms of the overall number of COVID cases, has seen infections climb since August as vaccinations stall.
The capital Moscow — the epicenter of Russia’s pandemic — has seen a spike over the past week with officials warning of rising hospital admissions.
Daily cases in the capital rose to 3,445, compared to 1,991 a day earlier.
Deputy mayor Anastasia Rakova says today that the increase is due in part to a seasonal spike in respiratory illnesses and contact between people after the summer vacation.
She says that the Delta variant now accounts for all COVID cases in Moscow.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Russia has registered more than seven million cases and 201,445 deaths, the highest death toll in Europe.
Authorities have been accused of downplaying the effects of the pandemic and, after a tight first lockdown in 2020, have refrained from introducing new restrictions.