By Elena Teslova
MOSCOW (AA) - Russia on Sunday continued an unhealthy streak, hitting a record high number of coronavirus cases for the fourth day straight.
Over the past day, 34,303 people tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the country’s tally to 7.99 million and active cases to 768,751, Russia’s coronavirus emergency task force said in a daily report.
Over the same period, 997 people died of the virus, bringing the death toll to 223,312 while 18,717 recovered, raising recoveries to 7 million, the report said.
Speaking to local TV channel Rossiya 24, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova, who also heads the task force, said the mortality rate has risen in the country in recent months.
She stressed that vaccination remains the principal means of protection against COVID-19.
Russian authorities link the growing number of COVID-19 deaths to the country’s low vaccination rate, as some 43 million people, or 30.71%, have been fully vaccinated – less than half the figure needed for herd immunity.
Another factor is the onset of cold temperatures and the flu-like illnesses that it brings.
Since December 2019, the pandemic has claimed nearly 4.89 million lives in 192 countries and regions, with more than 240.17 million cases reported worldwide, according to the US' John Hopkins University.