Ruslan Nazarov, head of the Murmansk Region Branch of the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry, at a mobile field hospital ready to admit patients with the COVID-19 coronavirus infection in the village of Mezhdurechye, Kola District on April 15, 2020.

Lev FedoseyevTASS via Getty Images

Russia recorded 8,599 new cases 153 new deaths on Sunday linked to the coronavirus, raising its overall death toll to 3,541. 

The country has recorded 344,481 coronavirus cases and is the third-worst hit country in its total number of coronavirus cases behind Brazil and the US, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

While its daily death toll continues to increase, its number of new daily cases appears to be on the decline.

Russia denies that it has manipulated coronavirus data and maintains that its mortality rate from the virus is among the lowest in the world.

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Russia recorded its highest daily spike in coronavirus deaths on Sunday as its number of new daily cases appears to be on the decline.

Russia reported 8,599 new cases and 153 new coronavirus deaths on Sunday, raising its overall death toll to 3,541. 

As of Sunday night, the country has recorded 344,481 coronavirus cases and is the third-worst hit country in its total number of coronavirus cases behind Brazil and the US, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Russia has been badly affected by the novel coronavirus and its hospitals are struggling to contain the spread among medical workers, who are 16 times more like to die from the virus than in countries with comparable coronavirus outbreaks.

Earlier this month, the country experienced a consistent increase in its number of new daily coronavirus cases, though that number appears to be on the decline over the last several days.

However, the country’s overall death toll has been steadily increasing since it recorded its first death in Moscow on March 19.

Putin’s government has maintained that the country’s coronavirus mortality rate is among the lowest in the world. But an analysis by the Financial Times last week estimated that Russia’s real coronavirus death toll could be up to 70% higher than its official figures suggest. Russia has denied any attempts to cover up its true fatality count, though its number of excess deaths have surged since the pandemic began.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Friday that a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic could hit the country in the fall. 

“Another wave of coronavirus sickness is possible in Russia, from late October to November,” he said during a televised press conference, according to The Moscow Times. “We must keep that in mind and be ready for that scenario.”

During the press conference, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin advised that the city — which has become the epicenter of the country’s outbreak — should keep its lockdown measures in place. Sobyanin estimated earlier this month that the actual number of cases in Moscow could be nearly 300,000.

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