MOSCOW

Russia confirmed on Monday a slightly lower number of coronavirus cases, while deaths increased.

According to the Russian emergency team, over the last 24 hours, 10,581 people tested positive for COVID-19 compared to 10,633, on the previous day.

Meanwhile, 76 more fatalities were registered, a rise of 58 from the previous day.

The overall number of infections rose to 145,268, deaths to 1,356, while the number of recoveries reached 18,095.

More than 4.3 million tests have been carried out in the country so far in an effort to detect COVID-19 infections at an early stage.

In order to prevent COVD-19 from spreading, Russia closed its borders for foreigners and stateless people and suspended international air and railway traffic.

Several cities, including capital Moscow and the second-largest city Saint-Petersburg, were put under lockdown.

People can move inside the cities only with a special digital pass issued by authorities.

According to Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko, restrictive measures will continue until there is a vaccine against coronavirus, which is expected to appear in fall at the earliest.

Three top Russian officials were hospitalized this week with the virus, including Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.

After originating in China last December, COVID-19 has spread to at least 187 countries and regions. Europe and the US are currently the worst-hit regions.

The pandemic has killed more than 247,000 worldwide, with total infections over 3.5 million, while more than 1.1 million people recovered from COVID-19, according to figures compiled by the US-based Johns Hopkins University.

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