Coronavirus deaths in Russia hit a record for the second day in a row on Wednesday, with the authorities reporting 669 new deaths, the highest daily tally in the pandemic. The previous record, of 652 new deaths, was registered on Tuesday. Russia has struggled to cope with a surge in infections and deaths in recent weeks that comes amid rather slow vaccination rates.
Russia's state coronavirus task force recorded has been registering over 20,000 new coronavirus cases and around 600 deaths every day since last Thursday. On Wednesday, 21,042 new contagions were recorded.
Russian officials have blamed the surge, which started in early June, on Russians' lax attitude toward taking necessary precautions, growing prevalence of more infectious variants and laggard vaccination rates. Although Russia was among the first countries to announce and deploy a coronavirus vaccine, just over 15 per cent of the population has received at least one shot.
Russia's coronavirus task force has reported more than 5.5 million confirmed coronavirus cases in the pandemic and 135,214 deaths.