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Russia Hits Record 75,000 Monthly COVID-19 Deaths In October

A nurse wearing protective equipment against coronavirus is on duty next to patients in a hospital in Volgograd, Russia.

Russia's state statistics agency, Rosstat, has tallied 74,893 deaths from COVID-19 in October, the highest monthly number since the pandemic began.

The agency reported on December 3 that total deaths from the pandemic through October reached over 537,000, the worst fatality count in the world behind the United States and Brazil.

Statistics for November, when the country faced a surge of infections, haven't been released.

The government's official COVID-19 death figures are almost half the Rosstat numbers.

The discrepancy can be explained by the government's coronavirus task force taking into account deaths where the virus was established as the primary cause of death after a medical examination.

Rosstat publishes figures under a wider definition for deaths linked to the virus.

The surge in infections is largely attributed to the highly infectious Delta variant and low vaccination rates, with only around 40 percent of Russians fully vaccinated.

Russia in recent months has faced its deadliest and largest surge of coronavirus cases, with both figures regularly breaking records.

Based on reporting by AFP, AP, and Reuters