The number of new coronavirus deaths hit a record high in Russia at the weekend.
The government’s coronavirus task force said that on Saturday 968 people had died of Covid-19 in the previous 24 hours, the most since the pandemic began. Sunday’s toll was only a shade lower at 962.
The number of new infections each day has been hovering slightly below 30,000 cases.
Russian authorities believe the main reason for the high number of deaths and infections is the population’s unwillingness to be vaccinated.
Western vaccines that have wide international distribution, such as those from Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech, have not been approved in Russia.
The Russian leadership insists that people get the vaccine Sputnik V, which was developed by Moscow researchers, or another one of the jabs produced in the country.
Sputnik V is recognized as a vaccine by about 70 countries, but not by the European Union and the United States. Many Russians do not trust the vaccines developed in their own country.
The official coronavirus figures put out by the government in Moscow have long been criticized as being too rosy.
Many have pointed out the wide gulf between the data released by the government’s coronavirus task force and Russia’s state statistics service.
As the Kremlin-critical news portal zona.media reported, the statistics agency said there were nearly 49,389 coronavirus deaths in August. But the task force put the number for same month at 24,661.