As the country heads into a 10-day non-working period, Russia’s daily coronavirus fatalities hit a new record on Wednesday.
The virus claimed 1,123 lives over the past day, raising the death toll to 233,898, according to official data.
There were 36,582 more infections recorded in the country, pushing the total to 8.35 million and active cases to 875,968, while recoveries increased by 29,151 to reach 7.24 million.
Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin acknowledged that Russia’s COVID-19 situation was “extremely challenging.”
During a government meeting on Tuesday, he said the number of severely ill patients in hospitals was alarmingly high, adding that they were “primarily those who did not get their vaccine shots when they could.”
“It is now essential that we continue increasing the pace of vaccinations. This is the only way to stop the virus from spreading further,” Mishustin said.
He urged officials to ensure there is no letup in testing and vaccinations during the 10-day non-working period starting on Thursday.
Authorities can extend the number of days and implement additional measures if necessary, the premier added.