(TNS) — Russia suffered its deadliest September since World War II, according to figures published Friday, even before the peak of its current wave of the COVID-19 pandemic forced authorities to order non-working days for the first week of November.
There were 44,265 deaths associated with the virus last month, bringing the pandemic’s total to nearly half a million, according to Federal Statistics Service data published late Friday. That contributed to the highest number of September fatalities since the war, said Alexei Raksha, a demographer who left the agency last year after a dispute over its coronavirus numbers.
The situation is poised to get worse after record numbers of cases in recent weeks, leading President Vladimir Putin to declare days off nationwide. Widespread distrust of the government has hindered attempts to get people to use locally developed vaccines.