Coronavirus-related deaths in Russia crossed the 10,000 mark on Saturday.

With 168 fatalities registered over the last 24 hours, the overall count went up to 10,027, the country’s emergency task force said in a daily report.

The daily growth in coronavirus cases remains below 7,000 for the ninth consecutive day, since 6,632 people tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the overall count to 674,515.

Recoveries surged by 8,986 to reach 446,879, raising the share of recovered people to 66,2%.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said the country will continue increasing polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests despite a drop in cases to “identify new cases quickly, help the patients, and prevent them from infecting those around them.”

Russia has also started conducting another type of test — enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) — to detect how many people have been exposed to the virus and developed antibodies.

Five new medical centers also opened in five cities this week, all built by the Defense Ministry and specifically equipped for COVID-19 patients.

Though Russia remains third in the world in terms of number of cases, it has seen more recoveries than infections over the past two weeks, with the incidence rate dropping 10%.

In June, most lockdown measures were eased throughout the country, including the capital Moscow.

Trials for several vaccines have started and authorities have approved two medications for COVID-19 patients so far.

Since originating in China last December, the pandemic has claimed 525,400 lives in 188 countries and regions.

More than 11 million cases have been reported worldwide, while over 5.86 million patients have recovered so far, according to figures compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University.

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