MOSCOW: The number of registered COVID-19 cases in Russia now exceeds 10 million, data from the government's coronavirus task showed on Sunday (Dec 12), but the latest wave of the pandemic has lost its momentum and the number of deaths is declining.
The number of daily infections and the death toll have both been on the decline recently after Russia recorded its deadliest month of the pandemic so far in October, according to Reuters calculations.
On Sunday, Russia reported 29,929 new COVID-19 infections in the last 24 hours, its lowest single-day case tally since Oct 13, taking the headline official number of infections since the start of the pandemic to 10,016,896.
Russia also reported 1,132 deaths related to the virus, its lowest since late October. The total official death toll in Russia stands at 289,483. However, Reuters' own calculations suggest it is much higher and already exceeds 578,000.
Russia's total population is about 144 million.
The country is now bracing for a possible further increase in coronavirus infections related to the Omicron variant. In late November, President Vladimir Putin ordered the government to secure supplies of drugs, oxygen and hospital beds to fight the highly contagious Omicron variant.
Alexander Gintsburg, head of the Gamaleya Institute that produced the Sputnik V vaccine, said 10 days would be enough to test the efficiency of Russia's most popular vaccine against the new Omicron strain, RIA news agency reported on Sunday.