Russia admits Covid-19 deaths are actually 3 times higher than officially reported

Just behind the United States and Brazil.

Julia Yeo | December 29, 2020, 07:12 PM

Russia has admitted that its death toll from Covid-19 is actually more than three times than what was officially reported previously.

This means the country has the world's third-largest number of fatalities behind the United States and Brazil.

Russia admits more than 186,000 deaths are due to Covid-19

The Rosstat statistics agency in Russia revealed on Monday (Dec. 28) that the number of deaths from all causes in the country between January to November this year had increased by 229,700 compared to the same period in 2019.

And over 81 per cent of the increase in mortality over the 11 months is due to Covid-19, The Guardian reported Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova as saying.

This means that more than 186,000 people in Russia have died from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The estimated figure is three times higher than official numbers reported by Russia, which stands at 55,265 as of Dec. 28, according to the World Health Organisation's (WHO) tally.

Russia only reports Covid-19 deaths if autopsy confirms virus was main cause

Russia has over three million reported cases of Covid-19, which have led medical experts to suspect that the country has been downplaying the real impact of Covid-19, according to Euronews.

Russia's health officials previously acknowledged in May that it only counts deaths that were found through postmortem autopsy to have been directly caused by Covid-19 complications, CNN reported.

Moscow's health ministry stated that in more than 60 per cent of suspected cases, the deaths were due to "obvious alternative causes, such as heart failure, stage four malignant diseases, leukaemia... and other incurable diseases".

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Top image via Alexey Nikolsky/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images