MOSCOW: Russia’s state statistics agency Rosstat said Thursday that more than 71,000 people died of coronavirus in the country in November, setting a new fatality record since the start of the pandemic.
Overall, 87,527 people with Covid had died in November, the state statistics agency said, adding that in 5,924 of those cases the virus was not considered the cause of death while in 71,187 cases the virus was confirmed as the cause of death.
Russian authorities have been accused of downplaying the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Rosstat tally suggests deaths are much higher than according to an official government taskforce tracking the pandemic, which says the total number of Covid-19 deaths is 307,948.
Rosstat publishes figures under a broader definition for deaths linked to the virus than the taskforce.
Over the past 11 months Russia’s natural population decline stood at 945,000 people, compared to more than 574,000 over the same period last year, suggesting significantly increased excess deaths.
Russia is the country hardest-hit in Europe by the pandemic, with authorities struggling to counter widespread anti-vaccine sentiment.
Despite pleas from President Vladimir Putin and the wide availability of the home-grown Sputnik V jab, only 45 percent of Russians are fully vaccinated.