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Russia's COVID-19 Deaths Surpass 900 A Day For First Time

A worker from Russia's Emergencies Ministry disinfects a Moscow railway terminal amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Russia reported 929 new COVID-19 deaths on October 6 -- the highest single-day death toll since the pandemic began -- amid the country's low vaccination rate and the authorities' reluctance to impose tough restrictions to control the spread of the disease.

The new deaths bring Russia's total fatalities from the coronavirus to more than 212,000 -- the highest tally in Europe -- and it is widely assumed that the country’s death toll is being underreported.

Russia has officially recorded more than 7.6 million coronavirus infections, making it the world's fifth worst-hit country.

The country has seen cases climb since August, driven by the highly contagious Delta variant.

Several Russia-made vaccines have been available for months, but authorities have struggled to encourage its vaccine-skeptic population to get inoculated.

According to the Gogov website, which tallies Covid-19 data from the regions, less than 30 percent of Russia's 146 million population had been fully vaccinated as of October 6.

Despite the surge in coronavirus infections and deaths, officials have not put major restrictions in place.

And Kremlin spokesman Dmity Peskov said on October 6 that lockdowns would be "an absolutely undesirable scenario for any region."

The previous day, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said the city was "far from peak numbers" and that the growing infections are largely linked to high detection rates.

Two thirds of Moscow's hospital beds for coronavirus patients are currently occupied, he said.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and AP