Russia recorded the highest number of new daily COVID-19 cases in more than six months Saturday as the country endured a surging outbreak of the Delta variant.
The Russian anti-coronavirus crisis center reported 21,665 new COVID-19 cases -- the highest number since Jan. 21, TASS reported.
There were also 619 new COVID-19 deaths nationwide, the most in a single day since Dec. 24, officials said. The country recorded 601 deaths the previous day.
The new infections included 8,457 in Moscow, which has been at the center of the pandemic in Russia since March of this year. The capital saw 7,916 new infections the prior day, bringing the total number of cases in the country's capital and largest city to over 1.3 million.
Moscow posted 96 new deaths from COVID-19 on Friday, just two short of the all-time single-day high set the previous day.
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin ordered a 30% reduction in the number in-office workers starting Monday.
"The current situation suggests that we actually living through the coronavirus pandemic raging in Moscow anew," he told Russian television, urging a "quick large-scale vaccination" to halt the pandemic.
Since the pandemic began, COVID-19 has infected more than 5.3 million people in Russia and killed over 130,000, according to Johns Hopkins University's global tracker of COVID-19 cases and deaths.
Sobyanin said last week that nearly 90% of Moscow's new infections are the Delta variant of the coronavirus first detected in India.
As COVID-19 cases increase in Russia, a Siberian region was the first to order a new lockdown on Wednesday. The two-week lockdown is set to begin on Sunday. https://t.co/RmqnOD1l1P— Newsweek (@Newsweek) June 23, 2021
Russia's consumer protection watchdog told state-run RIA Novosti news agency Friday it is investigating media reports of a new Delta Plus coronavirus variant within the country.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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