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Coronavirus cases in Russia pass the one million mark

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Passages equipped with disinfectant sprays at a shopping mall entrance in Moscow, Russia
Passages equipped with disinfectant sprays at a shopping mall entrance in Moscow, Russia   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko
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Russia has now had more than one million confirmed cases of coronavirus since the start of the outbreak.

The country reported another 4,729 cases on Tuesday, giving it a total of 1,000,048 reported cases, the world’s fourth-highest tally behind the US, Brazil and India.

According to a tally by Johns Hopkins University, there have been at least 25,506,759 cases worldwide so far.

The true numbers are likely to be much higher, due to limited testing, asymptomatic carriers and the concealment of cases by some governments, experts say.

In late March, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed the country had the COVID-19 outbreak “under control”, as neighbours in Europe rushed to lockdown to stem the explosive spread of the virus.

Putin credited “prompt measures taken in advance in the first weeks of the development of a pandemic” for the apparent low infection rate, and large areas of the country continued life as normal.

As cases started to rise however, Russia joined other countries in imposing strict measures and closed its borders.

As of Tuesday, Russia has lifted most lockdown restrictions in the majority of the country’s regions.

Last month, the country became the first in the world to approve a COVID-19 vaccine for use.

The move was met with scepticism by Western experts due to lack of testing.

One of Putin’s daughters had already been vaccinated, the Russian president said last month.