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Russia recorded its highest number of daily COVID-19 deaths on Friday since the start of the pandemic with 828 lives lost in the past 24 hours.

That brings the death toll from the pandemic in the country to 202,273, according to the official tally kept by the Russian Coronavirus Task Force. It is the highest in Europe.

The national statistics agency, Rosstat, which has a broader definition of what constitutes a death from COVID-19, had recorded more than 215,000 deaths from COVID by the end of July.

The previous record for one-day deaths was 820, reached on Thursday and late August.

The number of new cases fell slightly from the previous day but remains above 21,000, a level last reached at the end of August, when infections began to descend after a summer wave.

The spike in infections during the summer months has been blamed on the Delta variant.

Russia, which has touted its local vaccine against COVID-19, has struggled to vaccinate its population with just 28% of its 144.4 million people fully vaccinated, according to Our World in Data. The United States has so far fully vaccinated 54% of its population, with European countries and China recording higher rates.

This despite the fact that several regions have implemented compulsory vaccination for certain professions and imposed restrictions on capacity and opening hours in places, in particular bars and restaurants.

In Moscow, major events and venues, including nightclubs, are limited to 500 people and all must present a COVID health pass stating that they have been fully vaccinated, tested negative in the previous 72 hours or have recovered from the disease within the past six months.

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euronews Gt