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Monday, 10 August 2020

New Russia virus cases drop under 10,000

AFP , Thursday 14 May 2020
Costumers wearing protective mask shops in a supermarket in Moscow on May 13, 2020, amid the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus (Photo: AFP)
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Daily new coronavirus cases in Russia fell below 10,000 for the first time in nearly two weeks on Thursday, offering hope for the country with the world's second-most infections.

Health officials registered 9,974 new cases in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 252,245 confirmed infections.

The number of daily new cases in Russia has fallen several times this week and Thursday's tally was the first below 10,000 since May 3.

Russia this week became the country with the second-highest number of confirmed cases after the United States, in part due to a massive testing campaign that has seen six million tests carried out.

But the official fatality rate is low in comparison to countries like the United States, Britain, Italy and Spain.

Health officials said that 93 people had died in the last 24 hours, bringing the total death toll to 2,305.

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, and launch a vast campaign to test and quarantine those infected.

But critics have cast doubt on the figures, accusing the authorities of under-counting by blaming virus-related deaths on other causes.

Moscow, the epicentre of the contagion in Russia accounting for roughly half of all infections, recorded 4,712 new cases.

The Kremlin this week began easing a national lockdown to slow the spread of the virus, despite a steady rise in reported infections.

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