More than 100 people in Moscow have died from the coronavirus over the past 24 hours, setting a new record, as Russia faces another wave of the pandemic.
Moscow registered 114 deaths from COVID-19, RBK reported on June 27, citing the city’s coronavirus task force. Overall, 599 people in Russia died over the past 24 hours from the pandemic as more than 20,000 new cases were registered.
More than 100 died in St. Petersburg from COVID-19 a day earlier, also setting a record, RBK reported. St. Petersburg has about half the population of Moscow.
As the pandemic recedes in the United States and Europe, Russia is facing another deadly wave in part because citizens have been hesitant to get vaccinated.
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said the latest wave is caused by a new strain of the virus that is more infectious and whose symptoms develop quicker.
Russia was the first country to approve a vaccine, but concerns over possible side effects and the lack of a robust state campaign to encourage people to receive shots has led to low vaccination rates in the country.
The government is now taking new steps to encourage people to get vaccinated.
As of August 1, the popular resort region of Krasnodar in the south of Russia is banning guests who have not received their shots from staying at hotels.
Some Russian regions are requiring certain workers, such as those in the restaurant industry, to be vaccinated.
The region of Bryansk in western Russia announced last week it would require all residents -- with some exceptions -- to be vaccinated.
According to official statistics, more than 122,000 people have died from the coronavirus in Russia since the start of the pandemic in 2020. Only five countries -- the United States, Brazil, India, Mexico and Peru -- have officially registered more deaths.
However, many experts say the actual number of fatalities in Russia from the coronavirus is much higher.