Russia recorded the highest number of new daily cases for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in more than six months on Saturday as the country endured a surging outbreak of the Delta variant.
The Russian anti-coronavirus crisis center reported 21,665 new Covid-19 cases – the highest number since January 21, TASS reported.
There were also 619 new Covid-19 deaths nationwide, the most in a single day since December 24, officials said. The country recorded 601 deaths the previous day.
The new infections included 8,457 in Moscow, which has been at the center of the pandemic in Russia since March of this year. The capital saw 7,916 new infections the prior day, bringing the total number of cases in the country’s capital and largest city to over 1.3 million.
Moscow posted 96 new deaths from Covid-19 on Friday, just two short of the all-time single-day high set the previous day.
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin ordered a 30-percent reduction in the number in-office workers starting Monday.
“The current situation suggests that we actually living through the coronavirus pandemic raging in Moscow anew,” he told Russian television, urging a “quick large-scale vaccination” to halt the pandemic.
Since the pandemic began, Covid-19 has infected more than 5.3 million people in Russia and killed over 130,000, according to Johns Hopkins University’s global tracker of Covid-19 cases and deaths.
Sobyanin said last week that nearly 90 percent of Moscow’s new infections are the Delta variant of the coronavirus first detected in India.
Russia’s consumer protection watchdog told state-run ROA Novosti news agency Friday it is investigating media reports of a new Delta Plus coronavirus variant within the country.