Russia Again Hits New Record Daily COVID Death Toll.

Russia has suffered its highest COVID-19 death toll since the pandemic began as total infections and hospitalizations persist amid low vaccination rates.

The country's pandemic task force said on October 12 that 973 people died in the previous 24 hours, the sixth day in a row over 900 deaths, bringing the national death total to 218,345.

It said health officials confirmed 28,190 new infections in the same period, around the totals of the previous several days.

Many Russian doctors and some senior authorities say the official figures are likely a fraction of the real total.

The figures are similar to trends in other countries as the more contagious Delta variant spreads.

But Russian authorities also blame a stubbornly low vaccination rate of just one in three in a country of nearly 146 million people.

Russia last year announced its Sputnik V as the world's first approved coronavirus vaccine.

But Russians have been reluctant to get vaccinated with any of the five domestically produced vaccines or foreign-made vaccines, which are less common in the country.

Just 29 percent of Russians are fully vaccinated, Tatyana Golikova, a deputy prime minister who oversees health policy, said last week.

The latest coronavirus data from the state statistics service Rosstat showed more than 254,000 deaths in the first eight months of 2021, well above the 163,000 coronavirus deaths for all of 2020.

Radio Free Europe

RFE/RL journalists report the news in 22 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Russia.

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