Russia reports record-high COVID-19 deaths

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A medical specialist wearing protective gear transports a person on a stretcher at a hospital for patients infected with COVID-19, on the outskirts of Moscow, Russia July 2, 2021. REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva

MOSCOW, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Russia reported a record high 815 coronavirus-related deaths in the last 24 hours on Friday, but Moscow's mayor said hospitalisations from the disease in the capital had halved over the past six weeks.

Russia's daily reported COVID-19 infections have gradually dipped from a peak in July that authorities blamed on the infectious Delta variant and a slow vaccination rate. They stood at 22,277 on Friday, including 2,529 in Moscow.

Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said daily hospitalisations had halved in the city compared with late June and hospital bed occupancy was at its lowest since April.

As a result, he said in his blog, the city would no longer require 30% of staff at all businesses to work from home, although that was still encouraged.

The total number of cases recorded in Russia stood at 6,557,068 as of Friday, with 168,864 deaths recorded within a population of more than 144 million.

Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov; writing by Olzhas Auyezov; editing by Philippa Fletcher

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