June 5, 2020, 14:36
AKIPRESS.COM - Russia reported 8,726 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Friday, pushing the total number of infections to 449,834. Officials said 144 people had died in the last 24 hours, bringing the official nationwide death toll to 5,528.
Officials say Russia's high virus count is the result of mass testing and that a steady decline in new infections and its low fatality numbers mean the country can begin to return to normal.
Yet critics have cast doubt on the numbers, accusing the authorities of under-reporting deaths and threatening a new wave of infections by lifting restrictions.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday announced that a postponed nationwide vote on constitutional reforms that could extend his hold over power will go ahead on July 1.