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12 May, 2020 07:46

Russia becomes world's second hardest-hit country with 230,000+ confirmed Covid-19 cases, surpassing Spain & UK

Russia becomes world's second hardest-hit country with 230,000+ confirmed Covid-19 cases, surpassing Spain & UK

With 10,899 more coronavirus infections reported across the country on Tuesday morning, Russia now trails only the United States in terms of people known to have contracted Covid-19.

Nationwide, 232,243 confirmed cases have been recorded since the start of the outbreak, national disease response officials said. This figure is higher than those recorded by Spanish (227,436), British (224,332) and Italian (219,814) authorities, as aggregated by Johns Hopkins University.

It's worth noting that Russia has over twice the population of those countries and has carried out far more tests, with a recent spike in daily numbers attributed by officials to a significant boost in testing for antibodies in Moscow, the worst-affected part of the country.

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Since late April Spain’s statistics list separately people currently infected and patients who have recovered from the disease without even being tested for it, but who later tested positive for antibodies in their blood. There were 40,707 people in the latter category in Spain as of Monday, so technically Russia may still be behind it, depending on whether one adds those cases to Spain’s total.

At the same time, Russia has had considerably fewer deaths from Covid-19 than some other European countries, according to official estimates. A total of 107 fatalities have been attributed to coronavirus over the last 24 hours, bringing the overall total to 2,116. More than 43,500 patients in Russia have recovered.

The UK, Italy, Spain, and France each have more than 25,000 deaths, and Germany has over 7,000. On Monday, the Financial Times suggested that Moscow may be undercounting fatalities by up to 70%, but the same newspaper also believes that the real British death toll may be double the 32,141 acknowledged by London.

The number of Covid-19 cases in Russia grew slowly during the first weeks of the outbreak, but has surged recently. Officials believe the scale of the rise is largely down to a rapid increase in mass testing.

Also on rt.com Paid holidays end May 12, Russia to start gradually easing coronavirus quarantine measures – Putin

On Monday, President Vladimir Putin ended the national ‘paid holiday’, introduced more than six weeks ago to encourage people to stay at home, and allowed regional governments to relax quarantine measures in areas less affected by the coronavirus.

In Moscow, factories and construction companies were allowed to resume work from Monday. However, the mandatory self-isolation regime was extended to the end of the month, as the capital and its surrounding region remains Russia’s top Covid-19 hotspot. Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin also ordered residents to wear masks and gloves in shops and on public transport, and to maintain social distancing.

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