Russia has emerged as a new hotspot for the dreaded coronavirus and in recent days have been recording the highest number of new infections in Europe.

Russia has recorded more than 10,000 new cases of coronavirus for the fourth day in a row on yesterday (wednesday), surpassing Germany to become the country with the sixth-highest number of confirmed infections.

Health officials on Wednesday reported 10,559 new cases over the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of confirmed infections to 165,929, with 1,537 deaths.

The increase took Russia to fifth place in Europe, behind Spain, Italy, Britain and France.

The number of infections in Russia has been rising by more than 10,000 a day since Sunday, in contrast to countries in western Europe who are taking steps to ease lockdown measures after their rates of new cases and deaths dropped.

Despite the sharp rise, Russia’s fatality rate has remained low in comparison to countries with similar levels of infections.

Although officials credit quick moves to close the country’s borders, as well as widespread testing and tracking of infections, but critics have cast doubt on the numbers and accused authorities of under-reporting deaths.

A non-working quarantine period is in place in Russia until May 11 and authorities have said it will be lifted or extended depending on the extent of outbreaks in different regions.

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