Russia on Saturday reported its highest single-day death toll since the start of the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
The virus claimed the lives of 66 people over the past 24 hours, taking Russia’s death toll to 681, the country’s emergency team said in a statement.
The overall case count rose to 74,558 after 5,966 more people tested positive for COVID-19 since yesterday, it added.
According to Russia's chief sanitary officer Anna Popova, the spread of the virus in the country has happened mostly through 355 hard-hit areas.
She said the growing number of asymptomatic cases, which account for 52% of all cases, was of particular concern, pushing authorities to ramp up testing.
A total of 2.7 million tests have been carried out in Russia to date and 168,000 people have been placed under medical surveillance, she added.
Commenting on when the virus transmission could end, Popova said experience from previous epidemics shows it mostly happens when at least 60% of the population develops immunity after being infected or vaccinated.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization included nine vaccine prototypes created by Russian scientists to its list of potential solutions.
Russia’s State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology is expected to present the first samples of ready-made vaccines by May 10.
Pre-clinical trials will run until June 22 and clinical trials with 60 volunteers will commence on June 29.
The novel coronavirus has spread to 185 countries and regions since emerging in China last December, with the US and Europe the hardest-hit areas in the world.
More than 2.82 million cases have been reported worldwide, with the death toll near 198,000 and recoveries over 798,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University in the US.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.