Russian coronavirus cases climb above 200,000

Russian National Guards wearing protective masks while patrolling Moscow's Red Square on May 9, 2020.
Russian National Guards wearing protective masks while patrolling Moscow's Red Square on May 9, 2020.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

MOSCOW (AFP, REUTERS) – The number of people confirmed to have the coronavirus in Russia has exceeded 200,000, data posted on an official website set up by health authorities showed on Sunday (May 10). 

The total number of cases increased to 209,688 after another 11,012 tests came back positive in the last 24 hours, it showed. 

Russia's coronavirus task force said 88 people had died in the past day, pushing the national death toll to 1,915.

he official number of people dying of coronavirus-related complications has been comparatively low in Russia, though an opposition-allied doctors union has accused authorities of underreporting deaths of medics. 

Russia’s national figure does not include everyone who died after testing positive, but only those patients whose deaths were confirmed to be caused by viral pneumonia. 

Officials have said the daily rate – which has been over 10,000 for the past seven days – has much to do with aggressively testing even those showing no symptoms. 

The trend will likely make the number of Russia’s confirmed cases the biggest in Europe in a matter of days. 

Russia has performed 5.4 million tests, compared to Britain’s fewer than two million. 

Most of the cases are in or around Moscow, and some regions have already begun to lift lockdown restrictions. 

The Moscow mayor announced last week that industries and construction sites will begin work on May 12, but that masks and gloves will now be mandatory in public areas and shops. 

The Russian capital has made special passes required for moving around outside, but many people can be seen in the streets, especially in good weather.  

Russian coronavirus cases overtook French and German infections this week to become the fifth highest in the world.