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Russia: Death toll from COVID-19 rises to 1,222

Russia reported 9,623 new coronavirus cases – its highest daily rise since the start of the pandemic; bringing the total to 124,054, mostly in the capital Moscow.

The death toll nationwide rose to 1,222 after 57 people died in the last 24 hour; Russia’s coronavirus crisis response centre said on Saturday.

Concern was growing in Moscow that hospitals might become overwhelmed after recording the new one-day high of infections; a 20 percent increase over Friday’s count, which itself was a new daily record.

Despite lockdown measures, infection numbers have been rising at an alarming rate for days; in the world’s largest country by area.

Moscow is the worst-affected part of Russia, accounting for about 62,600 cases, about half of the nationwide total.

People there who have not obtained a special permit for free movement are only able to leave their homes to shop, walk their dogs, and dispose of rubbish.

President Vladimir Putin has ordered the restrictive measures, called non-working days, to continue until May 11 when the country finishes celebrating the Labour Day and Victory Day holidays.

Despite a relatively low number of cases and deaths compared with the United States, Italy and Spain, which have been hit hardest by the disease, Russia’s infection curve has not reached a plateau.

Russia Top officials infected

Infection cases have reached the highest levels of government.

Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, the second-most senior official in the country after Putin, told the president on Thursday that he tested positive for coronavirus and was temporarily stepping down to recover.

First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov is now serving as acting prime minister in his absence.

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