Russia attributes more deaths to COVID-19

The Russian government has presented updated coronavirus statistics to include deaths of those who tested positive for the virus but died of other causes.

Friday's announcement by Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova followed criticism from some Russian and Western experts who alleged that Russian authorities were under-reporting COVID-19 deaths for political reasons.

Golikova said 1,675 people died of COVID-19 in April. Of that number, 1,136 deaths were directly caused by COVID-19, while the remaining 539 people tested negative but had symptoms indicating they most likely died of the virus. In addition, Golikova said 1,038 others tested for the virus but died of other causes.

If all those deaths are attributed to COVID-19, the nation's total toll for April would be 2,713 or nearly 60% more than the previously announced number.

Golikova said Russia was closely following the World Health Organization's guidance on registering deaths.

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