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Russia counts over 500,000 coronavirus infections

Credit: Belga

Russia counted over half a million cases of the new coronavirus as of Thursday.

The country recorded 8,779 new infections in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 502,436.

With those numbers, Russia is the third most affected country after the United States and Brazil.

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Meanwhile, authorities recorded 174 deaths from the new coronavirus (Covid-19) in the past 24 hours, for a total of 6,532 officially registered victims, and more than 261,000 people are considered cured.

On Tuesday, Moscow lifted the confinement imposed on its population since the end of March, based on encouraging figures of a drop in new infections.

The borders have also been partially reopened, especially for Russians travelling for family or professional reasons.

Critics say authorities are hastening the deconfinement ahead of a major military parade in Moscow on 24 June to commemorate the victory over the Nazis.

There is also an upcoming referendum on constitutional reform. It was originally scheduled for late April but postponed until 1 July.

While Russia boasts of having been able to reorganise its hospital system in time to combat the pandemic and to conduct a policy of massive screening of the population, the president of the Court of Auditors, Alexei Kudrin, said Thursday that the Russian health sector was “significantly underfunded, even in its normal functioning.”

Kudrin called for “serious reconstruction” of the sector, especially in regions where facilities lack modern equipment.

The Brussels Times