Asharp rise in the number of cases in Russia has seen the country become home to the fifth highest number of confirmed infections worldwide, according to data compiled by John Hopkins University.
The country reported 10,699 new cases over the past 24 hours, with a total of 187,859 infections according to the country’s official number of cases. Russia now also has the second-fastest rate of new infections, behind the United States.
Russia has seen six consecutive days where the number of new cases has increased by more than 10,000. The total number of fatalities now stands at 1,723.
It also means Russia has overtaken France and Germany in terms of the number of cases, with more than half of the country’s 177,160 cases in Moscow, leaving its healthcare system struggling to cope.
The capital’s mayor, Sergei Sobyanin said research suggested the actual number was nearer 300,000, more than triple the official figure, the TASS news agency reported.
Russian President Vladimir Putin was intending to host French President Emmanuel Macron and President Xi Jinping of China in Moscow’s Red Square this weekend to mark the 75 anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany.
However, Putin now finds himself battling a crisis that has seen Russia become another European COVID-19 hotspot.
A strict lockdown has been imposed in Moscow, with 12 million people being ordered to stay at home with few exceptions.
Moscow has THREE TIMES more Coronavirus cases than officially accounted-for – Mayor
Despite Russia ranking fifth in the world for confirmed Covid-19 cases, the truth might be even worse. Moscow’s Mayor Sergey Sobyanin believes the real tally in the city is about 300,000 – three times more than the official count.
In an interview with TV channel Russia 24, Sobyanin explained how the increased numbers are actually a positive.
“The fact that we have identified so many cases is not a minus, but a huge plus. Obviously, there are even more in the city. According to screening studies, [cases] are in the region of 2-to-2.5 percent of the total population of Moscow; in terms of the figures, about 300,000,” said the mayor.
According to the latest official data, Moscow has 92,676 confirmed cases, less than a third of Sobyanin’s assumption.
The mayor added he had tasked the capital’s authorities with finding as many infected people as possible, in order to place them in quarantine and to prevent any further contact.