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Russia COVID-19 infections 10 times higher than one month ago

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Russia on Sunday recorded a record-setting 189,071 new COVID-19 cases, marking an increase of 10 times the number of infections reported just one month ago. 

Sunday’s data from the state COVID-19 task force also marked an increase of 2,800 cases above Saturday’s infections, according to The Associated Press.

Yet despite the rising case numbers, Russia’s COVID-related deaths have decreased slightly with 661 deaths on Sunday compared to 796 reported earlier in January. Russia does however have the highest COVID-19 death toll in Europe with over 335,400 deaths reported throughout the pandemic, and its COVID-19 task force has also reported 12.8 million virus infections overall, the AP reported. 

As cases surge, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said last week that authorities did not intend to have any lockdowns or other COVID-19 restrictions imposed.

The country was only locked down once for six weeks at the start of the pandemic, and in October, Russia ordered some people to stay home from work for about one week. Russia also removed its seven-day self isolation requirement for people who were in contact with someone who tested positive for the virus, the AP noted. 

Though Russia was one of the first countries in the world to offer COVID-19 shots, only about half of the population is vaccinated, the wire service added.

The concerns about COVID-19 come as Russia has amassed over 100,000 troops along its border with Ukraine. Though Russia has denied any intentions of an invasion, U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Sunday that Russian military forces could attack “any day now.”

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