Russia records more than 10,000 new virus cases

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Russia registered more than 10,000 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday continuing a grim trend that has seen the country become a global virus hotspot.

Health officials reported 10,028 new cases over the last 24 hours, bringing Russia’s total number of infections to 242,271.

The Kremlin this week eased a national lockdown to slow the spread of the virus, despite a steady rise in numbers that has brought Russia to second place in a global tally of infections, behind the United States.

A majority of Russia’s new cases were registered in the capital, a government virus tally said, where Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has extended a lockdown until the end of May.

President Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, on Tuesday became the most recent senior figure in government to announce they had tested positive for the coronavirus.

He told reporters he was receiving treatment in hospital.

Despite the steady rise in new cases, Russia’s reported mortality rate is significantly lower compared to other European countries hit hard by the pandemic, with 96 new deaths and a total of 2,212 dead from the coronavirus as of Wednesday.

Authorities say the low mortality rate is because Russia was able to learn lessons from the experiences of western Europe, moving quickly to isolate travellers and people at risk, convert hospitals for virus patients and launch a vast campaign to test and quarantine those infected.

Authorities on Monday said they had carried out nearly six million tests.

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