Health

Russia’s COVID-19 death toll climbs to world’s second highest

The
statistics service, Rosstat, said 87,527 people had died from coronavirus-related
causes in November, making it the deadliest month in Russia since the start of
the pandemic.

Russia’s
overall pandemic death toll reached 658,634, according to Reuters calculations
based on Rosstat figures up to the end of November and data from the
coronavirus task force for December, overtaking Brazil which has recorded
618,800 deaths.

The death
toll in the United States is higher, at 825,663 people, according to a Reuters
tally, but its population is more than twice as big as Russia’s.

Reuters
calculations also showed Russia recorded more than 835,000 excess deaths since
the beginning of the outbreak in April 2020 to the end of November, compared to
average mortality in 2015-2019.

Some
epidemiologists say that calculating excess deaths is the best way to assess
the true impact of a pandemic.

So far,
Russia’s death toll has not been affected by the Omicron variant and was mostly
caused by a surge of infections in October and November, which health
authorities blamed on the delta variant and a slow vaccination campaign.

On Thursday,
Russian authorities ordered hospitals to get prepared for a possible surge in
COVID-19 cases.

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