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Russia Reported a Spike in Coronavirus Infections on Thursday

Αssociated Press

A healthcare worker prepares a dose of Russia s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine, at the Del Norte Hospital in El Alto, Bolivia, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)

MOSCOW -- The Russian authorities reported a spike in coronavirus infections on Thursday, with new confirmed cases exceeding 11,000 for the first time since March.

Nearly half of Thursday’s 11,699 new infections -- 5,245, the highest since January -- have been recorded in Moscow, which has seen a steep increase in contagions in recent days. Russia has reported over 5.1 million confirmed coronavirus cases in the pandemic and more than 125,000 deaths.

After lifting most virus-related restrictions last summer, Russian authorities have refused to re-impose a lockdown or other tough measures to curb the spread of the virus, arguing that the country is able to cope with the outbreak without shutting down the economy.

Russia’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign has been lagging behind many countries, with just over 18 million people — or 12% of the country’s 146-million population — receiving at least one shot as of last week.