Russia's daily COVID-19 deaths top 1,000 for first time

By JIM HEINTZ Associated Press

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's daily death toll from COVID-19 has exceeded 1000 for the first time as the country faces a sustained wave of rising infections.

The national coronavirus task force on Saturday reported 1,002 deaths, up from 999 on Friday, along with 33,208 new confirmed cases.

The government said this week that about 43 million Russians, or just about 29% of the country's nearly 146 million people, are fully vaccinated.

Russian authorities have tried to speed up the pace of vaccinations with lotteries, bonuses and other incentives, but widespread vaccine skepticism and conflicting signals from officials have stymied the efforts.

Despite the mounting death toll, the Kremlin has ruled out a new nationwide lockdown.

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