Moscow has admitted that more than 186,000 Russians have died from COVID-19, making the toll more than three times higher than previously reported.
The country has so far reported 55,265 deaths from the virus. The new figures mean that Russia has the second-highest number of fatalities, with the United States being the worst-hit country.
On Monday, government statistics agency Rosstat said the number of deaths from all causes between January and November had risen by 229,700 compared to the same period in the previous year. Deputy prime minister Tatiana Golikova said “more than 81%” of that increased mortality was due to COVID-19, meaning that more than 186,000 Russians had died from the virus in that period.
There are still no official figures for how many people have been vaccinated with the country’s Sputnik V jab, but reports have said that 700,000 doses have been released.
Russia’s restrictions have been light compared with many other countries. President Vladimir Putin has earlier said that if people follow the rules, lockdowns like those seen in Europe will not be needed.