The national coronavirus task force reported 1,002 deaths the day before on Saturday, up from 999 on Friday, along with 33,208 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, more than 1,000 more than the day before.
Russian authorities have tried to accelerate the pace of vaccines with lotteries, bonuses and other incentives, but widespread skepticism about vaccines and mixed signals from officials hampered efforts. The government said this week that about 43 million Russians, or about 29 percent of the country’s nearly 146 million people, are fully vaccinated.
Despite the growing death toll, the Kremlin has ruled out a new nationwide lockdown like the one that occurred at the beginning of the pandemic that severely affected the economy and eroded the popularity of President Vladimir Putin.
Instead, it has delegated the power to enforce coronavirus restrictions to regional authorities.
Some of Russia’s 85 regions have restricted attendance at large public events and limited access to theaters, restaurants, and other venues.
However, daily life runs smoothly in Moscow, Saint Petersburg and many other Russian cities.
Health Minister Mikhail Murashko acknowledged this week that medical facilities have come under increasing strain and said authorities have offered retired doctors who have been vaccinated the option to return to work.
Overall, the coronavirus task force has recorded more than 7,958,000 confirmed cases and 222,315 deaths, the highest death toll in Europe.
The official record ranks Russia as the country with the fifth highest number of deaths from pandemics in the world, after the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico.
However, the state statistics agency Rosstat, which also counts deaths in which the virus was not considered the main cause, has reported a much higher number of pandemic deaths – about 418,000 people with COVID-19 in August.
According to that number, Russia would rank as the fourth most affected nation in the world, ahead of Mexico.