Russia overtakes UK, Italy with number of Covid-19 cases

Moscow, May 11 (efe-epa).- Russia has overtaken the United Kingdom and Italy with the number of Covid-19 infections, health authorities reported on Monday.

Another 11,656 cases were confirmed in the last 24 hours, of which 46.5 per cent were asymptomatic, bringing the total number of known infections in the country to 221,344.

Officials in the United Kingdom and Italy have each reported around 220,000 cases, which means Russia has surpassed them for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

Russia has not overtaken these two countries on deaths, despite its 145 million inhabitants.

The UK, home to just under 67 million people, and Italy, which has a population of 60 million, have reported more than 30,000 fatalities each.

Russian authorities have reported a total of 2,009 deaths, including 94 confirmed on Sunday.

The number of infections in Russia has more than doubled since 30 April when this figure had just exceeded 100,000.

According to virologists quoted in the local press, this increase in cases was closely linked to a rise in testing, with around 5.5 million reportedly carried out.

Moscow has been at the focus of the pandemic in the country with 115,909 cases, including 6,169 reported in the last 24 hours.

While many European cities have started to gradually de-escalate lockdown measures imposed to slow the spread of infection, Moscovite authorities have postponed this decision, although there is a roadmap for easing restrictions that has been endorsed by the central government.

Mayor of Moscow Sergey Sobyanin has extended the  lockdown in the capital until 31 May, which would see inhabitants complete two months confined in their homes.

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