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Russia surpasses 1 million coronavirus cases

Russia surpasses 1 million coronavirus cases
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Russia reported 4,729 new cases of the coronavirus Tuesday, surpassing one million cases overall.

The new figure gives Russia the fourth-highest caseload of any country, after the U.S., Brazil and India. More than 17,000 Russians have died of the virus thus far, while officials say more than 815,000 have recovered.

The country also has limited testing and has likely missed some mild or asymptomatic cases, The Associated Press reported. In addition, many observers believe local governments in Russia have not reported the real spread of the virus, meaning the real number of cases could be higher.

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Russia has rolled back lockdown restrictions in most of its regions as of this week, the AP notes.

Moscow officials said in August that the country has approved a vaccine for the virus, although skeptics noted that the candidate was only tested on a handful of people. Officials said last week that advanced trials among a sample of 40,000 people are set to begin, according to the AP. President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinPutin says doctors and teachers will get first COVID-19 vaccines in new immunization campaign Scarborough says he'll never return to Republican Party after GOP supported Trump Will Biden choose a values-based or transactional foreign policy? MORE said in August that his daughter has been given the vaccine.

“Next week, a previously planned post-registration, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled multicenter clinical study of the efficacy, immunogenicity and safety of the Sputnik V vaccine will begin in Russia, simultaneously with the vaccination of volunteers from risk groups. More than 40,000 people will take part in the study in more than 45 medical centers,” the Russian Direct Investment Fund said in a statement in late August.

Western officials who have expressed doubt about the approval process include Anthony FauciAnthony FauciPompeo to host indoor holiday parties at State Department despite warning to employees to hold some missions virtually Obama says he may take coronavirus vaccine on TV to build trust in it McEnany hits Democratic leaders for not following their own COVID-19 restrictions MORE, the U.S.’s top infectious diseases expert.

"Having a vaccine and proving that a vaccine is safe and effective are two different things," he said earlier in August. "I hope that the Russians have actually, definitively proven that the vaccine is safe and effective. I seriously doubt that they've done that."