The number of coronavirus cases Russia has seen since the start of the coronavirus pandemic crossed the 650,000 mark on Wednesday.

Over the last 24 hours, 6,556 more people tested positive for COVID-19, briging the tally to 654,405, the country’s emergency task force said in its daily report.

Over the same period, a spike in coronavirus-related fatalities was seen, with 216 people since yesterday, raising the death toll to 9,536, compared to an average of 100-plus fatalities reported over the last month.

Single-day recoveries came in at 10,281, bringing the total number to 422,931.

Russia will continue to increase the number of tests although the number of new cases is declining across the country to “identify new cases quickly, helping the patients and preventing them from infecting those around them,” said Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.

To maintain testing, the government allocated nearly 3.5 billion rubles ($500 million) for the production of COVID-19 test kits for use at federal and municipal establishments, Mishustin added.

Over the last two weeks Russia has seen more recoveries than new cases, while the incidence rate dropped 10%.

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

Trials for several vaccines have started and authorities have so far approved two medications for treating the virus.

Since originating in China last December, the pandemic has claimed over 511,500 lives in 188 countries and regions.

More than 10.48 million cases have been reported worldwide, while over 5.35 million patients have recovered so far, according to figures compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University.

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