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Coronavirus

Russia Explains Nation’s Low Coronavirus Deaths

MOSCOW — Health officials in the Russian capital have updated numbers on coronavirus deaths, trying to dispel doubts about the nation’s remarkably low COVID-19 mortality.

Moscow’s Health Department said Thursday the coronavirus mortality index for April varies from 1.4% to 2.8% depending on the calculation. The results are significantly lower than those from London, New York and other capitals.

On top of previously reported 636 deaths directly caused by the coronavirus, it added 756 deaths of those who tested positive for the virus but died of other causes and 169 deaths of those who tested negative but likely died of the virus according to autopsies.

Previously, the department counted only deaths directly resulting from the virus, leaving other “excess” deaths that represented a hike over the same period last year unexplained.

That has drawn suspicions from Russian and Western experts, who contend authorities in Moscow and other parts of Russia may have been under-reporting coronavirus deaths for political needs.

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