Coronavirus: Russia records nearly 75,000 new cases in single week, total now 262,843

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Russia has registered close to 75,000 new coronavirus cases over the past week alone with 10,000 new infections confirmed on Friday, as Moscow unveils mass antibody testing and a national lockdown is eased.

Health officials reported 10,598 new infections in the last 24 hours, bringing the country’s total to 262,843, the second-highest in the world after the United States.

Russia says its high number of cases is due in part to a massive testing campaign that has seen more than six million tests carried out.

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Moscow accounts for roughly half of all infections and the city said it would be launching mass voluntary tests for antibodies from Friday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin this week announced that a nationwide lockdown aimed at slowing the spread of the virus would be eased, even as health officials record a steady increase in new cases.

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Despite its high number of cases, Russia's official coronavirus fatality rate is low in comparison to countries like the United States, Britain, Italy and Spain.

The country reported 113 new coronavirus deaths on Friday, bringing Russia’s total to 2,418.

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Authorities say this is because Russia was able to learn lessons from the experiences of western Europe, moving quickly to isolate travelers and people at risk, and launch a vast campaign to test and quarantine those infected.

AFP- Russia Metro station
AFP- Russia Metro station

But critics have cast doubt on the figures, accusing the authorities of under-counting by blaming virus-related deaths on other causes.

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