Saint Petersburg records big spike in June deaths as Covid-19 epidemic continues

The mortality rate in Saint Petersburg, Russia’s second-biggest city and former capital, reached a 10-year high in June. According to the city civil registry office, 7,106 people died - far higher than 4,575 last year.

In addition, according to Russian news service Interfax, the city’s death rate exceeded 6,000 people just three times in the last ten years - January 2016, January 2017, and March 2018. 

The high death rate in Saint Petersburg is likely worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic. The metropole ranks second among Russian regions - behind only Moscow - and official figures show that the city saw 1,520 deaths. 

There has been allegations that Russia’s real mortality figure due to coronavirus could be way higher than the official statistics. However, any data manipulation has been completely denied by the country’s authorities.

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Still, mayor of Moscow, Sergey Sobyanin, acknowledged in May that the real number of Covid-19 cases in his city could indeed be significantly higher and said that more testing was needed to pinpoint the more or less accurate number of infected. Overall, Russia has already conducted over 22 million tests.

The country has confirmed 720,547 cases of Covid-19, with just 11,205 fatalities, according to official government numbers. Moscow has been the hardest hit by the virus (228,678), with the northern capital of Saint Petersburg recording just over a tenth of the number of cases (27,277).

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