Russia reported on Friday 18,283 coronavirus cases, new single-day record since the beginning of the pandemic.

According to the country’s emergency task force, the active cases reached 372,115 since Thursday while the total number of infections surpassed 1.59 million.

Meanwhile, recoveries rose by 14,519 to pass 1.2 million over the last 24 hours, while the death toll reached 27,656 with 355 new fatalities.

Speaking at an investment forum on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the novel coronavirus pandemic has been “the main factor that determined the global economic dynamics this year”.

He also said he expected the mass vaccination against the disease in Russia to start at the end of the year as two vaccines are already in production and the third one is about to get registration.

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 45 million people have contracted the novel coronavirus globally, while more than 1.18 million died, with recoveries exceeding 30.3 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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