MOSCOW

Russia’s single-day tally of new coronavirus cases fell on Saturday to its lowest point since May 1.

With 9,200 new cases pushing the country’s total to 272,043, authorities said Russia is “passing the peak of morbidity” and a gradual decrease in numbers can be expected over the coming days.

The death toll reached 2,537 after 119 people died over the past 24 hours, while recoveries increased by 4,940 to 63,166, according to the country’s emergency task force.

Over 6.6 million COVID-19 tests have been conducted in Russia to date, and there are 259,000 suspected cases in the country.

On Friday, eight more medical centers opened in eight regions to help manage the country’s surging coronavirus caseload, which is the highest in the world after the US.

A total of 16 such medical centers have been established in 15 of Russia’s 85 regions since March 20, with a combined capacity of 1,600 patients.

As a measure to motivate health workers, Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered bonus payments for staff in hospitals for coronavirus patients.

People involved in the treatment of COVID-19 patients will earn an extra $200 to $900 per shift, depending on their qualifications, in addition to their monthly salary.

Other hospital employees who are not directly working with the patients are entitled to a bonus of between $150 to $600.

According to Health Minister Mikhail Murashko, about 400,000 medical workers, including 110,000 doctors, 240,000 nurses, and 40,000 technical personnel, are engaged in Russia’s fight against COVID-19.

The pandemic has claimed nearly 308,000 lives in 188 countries and regions since originating in China last December.

The US, Europe, and Russia are currently the world’s worst-hit regions.

More than 4.55 million cases have been reported worldwide and over 1.64 million people have recovered to date, according to figures compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University.

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