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Russia reports record daily COVID-19 death toll
Daily COVID-19 deaths in Russia have hit a new record following a sharp surge of coronavirus infections last month. Russian authorities reported 808 deaths on Thursday, the country's highest daily toll of the pandemic. The previous record of 799 was reported four times over the past four weeks, including on Tuesday.
Russia faced a surge of infections last month that officials have blamed on the spread of the delta variant. New confirmed cases soared from around 9,000 a day in early June to 25,000 a day in mid-July.
The daily case numbers have since decreased slightly to about 21,000 confirmed a day this week, but the daily death toll has remained high.
Officials are working to boost vaccine uptake, which has remained lower in Russia than in many Western countries. As of last Friday, some 39 million Russians -- or 26.7% of the 146-million population -- had received at least one dose, while over 30 million, or 20%, was said to be fully vaccinated.
Russia's state coronavirus task force has reported over 6.5 million confirmed coronavirus cases in the pandemic and 168,049 deaths. However, reports by Russia's state statistical service Rosstat that look at coronavirus-linked deaths retroactively have revealed a much higher number.