Russia reports over 5,400 virus deaths in June

(AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

More than 5,400 people died in from the in June, the state statistics service said on Friday, one thousand more people than previously announced by the authorities.

Russia's reported mortality rate is much lower than in other countries with similar rates of infection, leading critics to accuse officials of under-reporting deaths to minimise the scale of the crisis.

According to daily figures released by health authorities, 4,499 people died from COVID-19 between June 2 and July 1.

The Rosstat statistics agency for its part said on Friday that 5,448 people died in June, with coronavirus considered the main cause of death.

In addition, 4,880 other people infected with the coronavirus died from other diseases. In 1,399 of those cases the coronavirus caused complications that led to a patient's death, the Rosstat said.

All in all, 162,758 people died in Russia in June, up from 137,237 people in June last year.

The government insists that it records causes of death meticulously based on the results of autopsies and according to international standards set out by the World Health Organization.

Russia counts only those deaths directly caused by the virus, unlike some countries that count all deaths of people infected.

At more than 877,000 cases, Russia has the world's fourth largest coronavirus caseload. A total of 14,725 fatalities has been recorded.

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