The number of Russians who have died from the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) passed the 8,000 mark on Saturday, according to the latest official figures.
Russian authorities registered 161 deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, bringing the cumulative total to 8,002. The number of infections since the start of the pandemic now stands at 576,952, including 7,889 new ones in the past 24 hours.
Moscow, the epicentre of the pandemic in Russia, and other regions have lifted confinement measures imposed since late March, based on encouraging figures showing that the number of new infections has been decreasing by the day, although new doubts exist about the reliability of official COVID-19 statistics.
Borders have been partially lifted, mainly for Russians needing to travel for family or professional reasons. Critics of the Kremlin accuse the Russian authorities of wanting to rush through the deconfinement before the military parade of 24 June in Moscow – in commemoration of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War II – and the referendum on constitutional reform, which had been postponed from late April to the 1st of July.
Vladimir Putin would like to reform the constitution, with the help of the people, to be able to obtain two additional stints in office after his current term expires in 2024.