Russia said Tuesday that at least 101 medics have died from coronavirus in the first such official announcement, while an online tally compiled by doctors gives a far higher figure.
"Last Friday 101 people were on the confirmed list," senior health ministry official Lyudmila Letnikova told lawmakers, Interfax news agency reported.
The head of the ministry's public health department told the parliamentary health committee that the ministry keeps a register of deaths of medical personnel, but this is the first time a figure has been given publicly.
Letnikova said the ministry had asked Russian regions to provide death counts.
The official number is much lower however than the total on an online list compiled by doctors from data sent in by colleagues, which has 293 names.
The "Remembrance List" site was launched in April by medics including cardiologist Alexei Erlikh, who works at a Moscow state hospital.
The creators of the list said their aim was to provide reliable information on deaths of health workers, fearing that the authorities would not do so.
When the online list appeared, the health ministry did not respond to an AFP request for the number of coronavirus casualties among health personnel.
The independent news site Mediazona earlier this month checked the Remembrance List and excluded some medics who were not practicing at the time of their deaths or worked in other ex-Soviet states. It confirmed 186 deaths.
Russia has reported a total of 3,807 deaths from 362,342 COVID-19 cases, far fewer than many other countries with lower numbers of cases, prompting questions over whether the authorities are accurately recording deaths from the virus.
Government officials have cited reasons that include a mass testing campaign that reportedly picked up many mild or symptom-free cases, and the recording of cause of death based on autopsies.
Russia reports record one-day rise in coronavirus deathsRussia said on Tuesday 174 people with the coronavirus had died in the past 24 hours, a record one-day amount that pushed the nationwide death toll to ... Coronavirus
OPEC+ watching oil markets before taking further decisions, says RussiaThe group of OPEC+ countries will look at how the situation on global oil markets develops before taking any policy decisions, the Kremlin said on ... Energy
Russia’s Putin makes Kremlin appearance as coronavirus restrictions easePresident Vladimir Putin made a rare recent appearance in the Kremlin on Monday as Russia prepares to ease lockdown restrictions imposed over the ... Coronavirus