Russia posts record virus deaths for fourth straight day


MOSCOW – Russia on Friday reported a high for coronavirus deaths for a fourth day running as infections continue to surge. 

A government tally reported 887 fatalities over the past 24 hours. Over the same period there were 24,522 new cases — the highest total since late July.

The new figure brings the country’s total deaths from Covid-19 to 208,142 — the highest in Europe.

The world’s fifth worst-hit country with more than 7.5 million infections, Russia has seen cases climb since August as vaccinations stalled.

While several Russia-made jabs have been available for months, authorities have struggled to inoculate a vaccine-sceptic population.

Independent polling shows that more than half of Russians do not plan on getting a shot.

As of Friday, just 29 percent of the population had been fully vaccinated, according to the Gogov website, which tallies Covid data from the regions.

The surging infections have come without any real pandemic restrictions to limit the spread.

At the start of the summer, Moscow and a host of regions introduced QR code health passes for entering public spaces like bars and restaurants but soon ended the measure.

At least three Russian regions re-introduced QR codes this week, though the country’s largest two cities, Moscow and Saint Petersburg — where infections are surging — have so far withheld.

Independent experts have accused authorities of downplaying the severity of the outbreak.

Under a broader definition for deaths linked to the coronavirus, statistics agency Rosstat reported in August that Russia had seen more than 350,000 fatalities.