By Elena Teslova
MOSCOW (AA) - Russia on Saturday registered more than 1,000 daily coronavirus-related deaths for the first time since the start of the pandemic.
According to a report by Russia’s coronavirus emergency task force, some 1,002 people died of the virus over the past day, bringing the death toll to 222,315.
The country also reported 33,208 new virus cases over the past 24 hours, the highest daily figure since the start of the pandemic, taking the active cases to 754,162, and the overall count to 7.95 million.
Some 21,883 patients also recovered over the past 24 hours, pushing the total number of recoveries to 6.98 million.
Speaking in an interview with the Russian Rossiya 24 TV channel, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova, who is also the head of the Russia's coronavirus emergency 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 lax vaccination coverage in Russia, where some 43 million people, or 30.71%, have been fully vaccinated – less than half of the figure needed for herd immunity.
Another factor is the onset of winter and the flu-like illnesses that it brings along.
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.