According to one of the country’s leading political figures, the number of deaths from Covid-19 in Russia may be three times higher than previously thought.
New data released by the Russian Statistics Office on Monday showed that compared with the same period last year, the number of deaths from various causes between January and November this year increased by 229,700.
After the figures were released, the Russian Interfax News Agency quoted Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova as saying that more than 81% of the increase in mortality during this period was due to Covid-1
This means that the number of deaths related to the virus is at least 186,000, about three times the number previously reported. This will also make Russia’s Covid-19 death toll rank third in the world.
The government’s Coronavirus Crisis Center has reported daily the country’s official death toll, which was 55,827 as of Tuesday.
Earlier, some observers had questioned Russia’s low case fatality rate because Russia is the world’s fourth-largest case fatality rate, after the United States, India, and Brazil, but its death toll is much lower than these three countries.
Despite reports that hospitals across the country are struggling with the influx of Covid-19 patients, Russia has yet to implement a nationwide lockdown because the Kremlin hopes that the launch of its Sputnik V vaccine can control the epidemic .
Elsewhere, as the number of people receiving the Covid-19 vaccine continues to grow, the world is once again looking at the first people in the world to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.
Margaret Keenan and William Shakespeare, the first two patients in the UK to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, are expected to receive a second dose on Tuesday to achieve complete immunity.
Earlier this month, Keene and Shakespeare received unprecedented publicity as the UK became the first country to launch a clinically approved Covid-19 vaccine.
At the same time, the United Kingdom reported a record number of new Covid-19 cases on Monday, exceeding 40,000, as the British government is working hard to contain this new virus variant, which scientists believe can spread by more than 70%.
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Last weekend, the European Union launched a mass vaccination campaign aimed at getting 450 million citizens to receive vaccination from health care workers and residents of entire nursing homes as soon as possible.
However, some troubles have occurred in the process.
Vorpommern-Rugen regional authorities said in an online statement on Monday that in northern Germany, eight workers in a nursing home received five times the recommended dose of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine.
Since the onset of flu-like symptoms, four people have been admitted to the hospital for observation as a preventive measure.
District Administrator Stefan Kerth said in a statement: “I deeply regret this incident. This individual case was caused by an individual error.”
NBC News has made further contact with Pfizer.
The incident was carried out after some parts of Germany refused to use the vaccine received over the weekend, because the cold weather was suspected to be interrupted during delivery. Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine must be stored at ultra-low temperature to maintain viability.
At the same time, China is where the virus first appeared a year ago. Seven new cases of coronavirus infection have been reported in the capital, Beijing, and the authorities have ordered hundreds of thousands of residents to be tested.
The city government has urged residents not to leave the city during the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday. So far, the number of cases and deaths in China is much lower than in many other countries, but China has cancelled large gatherings such as sports events and temple fairs. The production capacity of cinemas, libraries and museums is 75%. The government also discourages business travel.
The virus has also attracted new attention in South Korea, where more than 40 coronavirus patients have died in the past 24 hours, which is the highest daily death toll since the pandemic began.
According to reports on December 21 and December 22, Korea’s previous highest daily death toll from Covid-19 was 24.
Some observers say the surge in deaths reflects an increase in cluster infections among elderly people with potential health problems in nursing homes and long-term care centers.
Reuters and Associated Press contributed to this report.
Tatyana Chistikova Contributed.