Russia Reports Daily Record For COVID Deaths As Surge Continues

A grave digger wearing personal protective equipment as a preventive measure against COVID-19 buries a person at a graveyard on the outskirts of St. Petersburg on June 25.  

Russia has reported a record 601 deaths from COVID-19 in the past day as a surge in coronavirus cases attributed to the presence of the delta variant sweeps across the country.

The government coronavirus task force on June 25 reported 20,393 new cases in the previous 24 hours, including 7,916 in Moscow alone. That total was the most for a single day in the capital since late January.

Officially, the country has recorded 5,409,088 coronavirus cases and 132,064 deaths, though many critics say the actual figures are much higher as officials underreport the situation on the ground.

Compounding the situation is sluggish demand among Russians to get vaccinated even with the recent surge in the virus.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said last week that vaccinations against COVID-19 will be compulsory for 60 percent of employees in the services sector.

Given the jump in cases, Moscow and other areas have also tightened restrictions on the movement of people.

From June 21, Muscovites could only get service in restaurants and bars if they present a QR code showing proof of vaccination, a recent negative test, or certification that they had contracted the virus within the previous six months.

In the popular resort area of Krasnodar, vacationers will only be allowed to stay in hotels from July 1 with proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test. From August 1, only those with vaccination certificates will be allowed accommodation.

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