Coronavirus deaths in Russia hit a record on Saturday for the fifth straight day, with the authorities reporting 697 fatalities as the country faces a rapid surge of infections.
The previous record on Friday was 679.
Russia’s state coronavirus task force on Saturday reported 24,439 new coronavirus cases, the highest daily tally since January and 1,200 more than the day before.
Moscow, its outlying region and St Petersburg accounted for nearly half of Saturday’s new cases.
The Kremlin insisted on Friday that the authorities are not discussing another lockdown.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov admitted that the situation with the coronavirus remains “tense” in a number of regions, but said that “no one wants any lockdowns”.
Russia had only one nationwide lockdown last spring that lasted six weeks, and the government has since resisted shutting down businesses.
Russia’s coronavirus task force has reported nearly 5.6 million confirmed coronavirus cases in the pandemic and 137,262 deaths.