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Russia sees over 100,000 daily Covid cases for first time

MOSCOW (AFP) – Russia reported over 100,000 daily coronavirus cases for the first time yesterday as the country weathers a surge of infections driven by the highly contagious Omicron variant.

A government Covid-19 portal registered 113,122 new cases over 24 hours, nearly double the number of daily infections just a week ago.

The number of cases across Russia continues to rise sharply, with Omicron accounting for the majority of cases.

Following a strict but brief national lockdown at the beginning of the pandemic, Russia held back on curbs hoping instead to protect its economy.

But with four vaccines widely available for months, Russians remain reluctant to get jabbed with just under half of the population fully vaccinated.

Russia’s government figures have reported 330,111 deaths from Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic – the highest death toll in Europe.

However those figures are contradicted by statistics agency Rosstat, which counts Covid deaths under a broader definition and said the overall death toll is close to double the official number.

On Friday, Rosstat said Russia’s population declined by more than a million people last year, a historic drop not seen since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

A medical worker walks outside a COVID-19 hospital in Moscow. PHOTO: AFP
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