MOSCOW — Russia’s national coronavirus taskforce on Saturday reported that the country’s tally of daily new infections has risen by nearly 50% over the past week and more than doubled in Moscow.
It said there were 13,510 infections recorded in the previous day, sharply higher than the 9,163 reported on June 6. Nearly half the new cases were in Moscow — 6,701 compared with 2,936 a week ago.
Faced with the spiking figures, Moscow authorities said enforcement of mask- and glove-wearing on mass transit, in stores and in other public places would be strengthened and that violators could face fines of up to 5,000 rubles ($70).
For the entire pandemic period, the task force has reported nearly 5.2 million infections in the country of about 146 million people, and 126,000 deaths. However, a report from the state statistics agency Rosstat on Friday found more than 144,000 virus-related deaths last year alone.
The statistics agency, unlike the taskforce, counts fatalities in which coronavirus infection was present or suspected but is not the main cause of death.
The agency’s report found about 340,000 more people died in 2020 than in 2019; it did not give details of the causes of the higher year-on-year death toll. The higher death toll and a lower number of births combined to make an overall population decline of 702,000, about twice the decline in 2019, Rosstat said.