- Russian federal statistics agency Rosstat said the country witnessed 75,000 Covid deaths in October.
- Along with the deaths, October became the deadliest month in the entire pandemic era.
- The official tally of Covid deaths in Russia is 278,857.
MOSCOW: Russia’s federal statistics agency Rosstat said on Friday that nearly 75,000 people died from the coronavirus in the country in October, making it the deadliest month in the entire pandemic.
The agency reported that the total number of deaths since Russia recorded its first case stood at more than 520,000, the third-worst death toll in the world behind the United States and Brazil.
Authorities in Moscow have been accused of downplaying the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and Rosstat’s figure – released Friday evening – painted a much darker picture than official figures suggest.
Rosstat’s tally was considerably higher than an official government website monitoring the pandemic, which indicates the total number of Covid deaths is 278,857.
These figures only take into account deaths where the virus has been established as the leading cause of death after an autopsy.
Rosstat, however, publishes figures under a broader definition of virus-related deaths.
Despite repeated calls from Russian authorities, including President Vladimir Putin, only around 40% of Russians are fully immunized.
These efforts have been an uphill battle, with polls consistently showing that a large part of the Russian population does not want to be hit.
In August 2020, Russia became the first country to register a vaccine against the coronavirus, Sputnik V, which has since been approved for use in dozens of countries.
After a tight first lockdown in 2020, Moscow officials have mostly refrained from introducing further restrictive measures, relying instead on a vaccination campaign to protect the struggling economy.
However, in October, the deadliest month on record in Russia, Putin ordered a week-long paid leave nationwide to fight infections and Moscow announced the shutdown of non-essential services for 11 days.