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With the Delta variant showing a definite increase in COVID-19 cases around the world, Russia is the latest country to report record-breaking infection numbers.

On Thursday the country reached its highest death toll for the third day in a row. The government reported a total of 23,888 new infections and 867 deaths.

This makes Russia the country with the highest death toll in Europe and globally it’s the fifth-highest country.

Authorities are fearing that it might be the country’s fourth wave and the high infection and death rates come just as thousands of students returned to colleges and universities for the first time since the country reported its first COVID-19 case.

Al Jazeera reports that despite the rising caseload, few nationwide public restrictions have been put in place. Russia had one, six-week lockdown early this year. Authorities in the capital Moscow have tightened controls over mandatory mask-wearing amid fears about the rise in infections.

The Russian government recently admitted that it's behind its vaccination targets and have since adjusted their goal.

Image credit: The Moscow Times

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