Russia has world’s second highest number of virus cases after US

Medical workers transport a man suspected of having the coronavirus infection to a hospital outside Moscow. (AP pic)

MOSCOW: Russia has the world’s second-highest number of coronavirus infections after reporting another 10,899 new cases on Tuesday, according to an AFP tally.

The new cases brought Russia’s total to 232,243, surpassing the number of infections in Britain and Spain and now behind only the United States which has reported more than 1.3 million, according to the tally compiled from official sources.

Russia has been reporting more than 10,000 new cases per day for over a week.

Officials say the high number of cases reflects a huge testing campaign, with some 5.8 million tests carried out so far.

More than half of the cases have been reported in Moscow and the surrounding region.

With only 2,116 virus deaths reported to date, Russia’s mortality rate has been much lower in comparison with other countries with similar infection rates.

Authorities say this is because Russia was able to learn lessons from the experiences of western Europe, moving quickly to isolate travellers and people at risk, convert hospitals to treating virus patients and to test and quarantine those infected.

But critics have cast doubt on the numbers, accusing officials of under-counting by blaming virus-related deaths on other causes.

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