Russian President Vladimir Putin

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Russian authorities attributed 60% of coronavirus deaths in Moscow last month to other causes.

The country has one of the world’s lowest official coronavirus death tolls despite having the second-largest number of confirmed cases.

Putin’s health deputy has denied manipulating the official statistics.

Analysis by the Financial Times suggests the real death toll in Russia could be up to 70% higher.

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Russia has denied attempting to cover up its real coronavirus death toll after attributing 60% of COVID-19 deaths that took place in Moscow last month to other causes.

Moscow authorities on Wednesday claimed that the deaths of 60% of patients who tested positive for COVID-19 in April were not attributable to the coronavirus.

The city’s health department defended its decision to attribute the deaths to other causes, saying that its methods were “exceptionally precise.”

However, analysts have previously suggested that Russia’s real coronavirus death toll could be up to 70% higher than its official figures suggest, with the number of excess deaths in the country surging after the pandemic began.

Putin’s government claims that Russia has suffered one of the world’s lowest coronavirus fatality rates in the world, at 0.9%, despite the country registering the second largest number of confirmed cases internationally.

The official number of ‘excess deaths’ in which fatalities exceed the historical average in the country, also appears to be much lower than other countries with such a large number of confirmed cases.

Moscow, which has confirmed around half of all cases in the country registered 1,700 excess deaths in April compared to 24,200 excess deaths in New York, the Guardian reported.

Analysis by the Financial Times this week suggests the real death toll in the country could be up to 70% higher than official figures.

Their analysis suggests there were 232 excess deaths in St Petersburg last month compared with the historical average, against the government’s official coronavirus death toll for the city of just 29 people.

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The Russian authorities have denied attempting to cover up the true scale of fatalities in the country.

“I would like to stress once again that the information I relayed yesterday at a meeting with the president regarding the case fatality rate being 7.6 times lower in Russia than globally is true,” Putin’s health deputy Tatiana Golikova said this week.

She added: “We never manipulated the official statistics.”

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