Covid live: Russia’s coronavirus death toll passes 250,000; Germany reports new record daily cases

Russia on Wednesday reported a record 1,239 deaths from Covid in the previous 24 hours, two days after most of its regions emerged from a week-long workplace shutdown designed to curb the spread of the virus.

It takes the official death toll to 250,454 deaths. Only four other countries have surpassed the grim quarter-million milestone. Officially, the US has reported 757,309 fatalities, Brazil 609,756, India 461,849, and Mexico 290,110, according to data from John Hopkins University.

A further 38,058 coronavirus cases were also recorded across Russia, including 3,927 in Moscow, in the past 24 hours, according to the government’s Covid task force.

New daily cases have retreated slightly in the past four days after hitting a peak of 41,335 on Saturday.

“For now we cannot say with confidence that the situation has stabilised and the infection rate is declining,” the deputy prime minister Tatyana Golikova told a government meeting.

Her assessment was markedly more downbeat than that of the health minister Mikhail Murashko, who had said on Tuesday that the nationwide “non-working days” from 30 October to 7 November had turned the tide in Russia’s fight against the pandemic.

Murashko told parliament on Wednesday that oxygen reserves at hospitals in 12 of Russia’s regions would last for two days or less, unless they were replenished.

At the same time, he said, some regions were already reporting a decline in infections and the vaccination campaign was bearing fruit as only 3-4% of inoculated Russians have been infected.

More than 62 million Russians have received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine, Murashko said.

Golikova told a government meeting that 22 million more people needed to get inoculated and about 9 million needed to get a booster in order to have 80% of the adult population vaccinated and thus achieve a minimum level of collective immunity.

*I’m grateful to reader Francisco for flagging this to me.

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