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Russia reports highest COVID-19 death toll this year

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By Euronews with AFP
Employees of the Federal State Center for Special Risk Rescue Operations of Russia Emergency Situations, disinfect a platform in Moscow. 25 June 2021
Employees of the Federal State Center for Special Risk Rescue Operations of Russia Emergency Situations, disinfect a platform in Moscow. 25 June 2021   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko
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Russia reported its highest daily death toll since December with 619 people reported dead due to COVID-19 as the country is hit hard by the Delta variant.

A total of 132,683 have died since the start of the pandemic, according to the official tally.

The nation reported 21,665 new infections on Saturday, also a record since January, as the more transmissible variant that first emerged in India spreads in the country.

Russia's second-largest city, Saint Petersburg, which is currently hosting several Euro 2020 matches, recorded the highest daily death toll from COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic as well.

The city reported 107 deaths in the past 24 hours, which Russian news agencies say is the highest number in all cities across the country since the beginning of the outbreak.

The city with a population of some 5.4 million is hosting seven Euro football matches, with one quarterfinal scheduled in the city next Friday.

Local authorities this week banned all food sales in Euro fan zones and ordered the closure of food courts in shopping centres, but it so far has not slowed down rising cases.

The city reported 1,247 new infections on Saturday, compared to 817 on June 1.

Moscow and its region have also been impacted by rising cases.

Moscow reimposed some restrictions including teleworking and compulsory vaccination for some employees.

The vaccination campaign has lagged behind in Russia since December amid widespread public mistrust.

Around 21.2 million people out of 146 million inhabitants received at least one dose, according to an aggregator that takes data from regions and media for lack of official national statistics.