Russia has recorded nearly 9,000 new cases of the coronavirus, roughly consistent with the increases reported over the past two weeks. The national coronavirus task force said Saturday that 4,555 Russians have died of COVID-19 and 396,575 infections have been confirmed overall.
The relatively low mortality rate compared with other countries has prompted skepticism domestically and abroad.
In a bid to dispel suspicions that authorities are trying to lower the death toll for political reasons, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova explained Friday that Russia's count contains only those confirmed to have died of the infection, but she also gave figures for people who tested positive for the virus but died of other causes.
If all categories are counted as COVID-19 deaths, the nation's total toll for April would stand at 2,713, or nearly 60 per cent more than the previously announced number.