Russia reported on Thursday new record numbers related to the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

For the third day in a row, fatalities caused by the virus hit another record, with 366 new fatalities over the last 24 hours, almost 10% higher compared to the previous day.

Also, the daily growth in coronavirus cases showed a new high — 17,717 people tested positive for COVID-19 since Wednesday — raising active cases to 368,351, while the country’s total number of infections surpassed 1.57 million.

Meanwhile, recoveries rose by 14,740, also the highest figure since the beginning of the pandemic, pushing the tally to nearly 1.18 million.

At a meeting with the government on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that in view of worsening pandemic situation, the Cabinet allocated funds of 5 billion rubles ($700 million) to supply patients at outpatient treatment with free medications and of 10 billion rubles ($1.4 million) to support regions.

Vice Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova, in turn, reported that in 38 regions, there is a steady trend of rising morbidity, while in 18 regions the situation is unstable and in 29 relatively stable.

The regions are recommended to prohibit mass events from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. and strengthen sanitary and anti-pandemic measures for people over the age of 65 and those suffering from chronic diseases.

She also said analysis of clinical features showed that medical care for up to 70% of patients can be provided on an outpatient basis but it should begin as early as possible — when the first symptoms appear.

Currently, 2,000 doctors, 128,000 medical workers, and 58,000 junior medical personnel as well as over 24,000 university and college students, 11,000 interns, and 500 teachers provide assistance to COVID-19 patients in Russia.

Starting Wednesday, wearing masks has become obligatory in public transport, parking lots, elevators, and public places.

Anna Popova, the chief sanitary officer, said if the situation continues to worsen, authorities could introduce stricter measures.

Since it emerged last December in China, over 44.52 million people have contracted the novel coronavirus globally, while more than 1.17 million have died, with recoveries exceeding 30 million, according to the US Johns Hopkins University’s running tally.

The US, India, and Brazil are currently the worst-hit countries. Russia is a distant fourth, with some 4 million fewer cases than Brazil.

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