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Data suggests Russia's COVID-19 death toll is far higher than reported

At the start of June, St. Petersburg’s local administration stopped publishing information about how many COVID-19 patients had been hospitalized in the Russian city. The sudden disappearance of the previously daily reported figures happened to coincide with the opening of one the city‘s most prestigious annual events, the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. The forum, a gathering of Russia’s elite and a showcase for its biggest companies, has become a flagship event under President Vladimir Putin. Over five days, 13,000 people were expected to attend the event, where Putin told the audience that life was 'gradually returning to its normal routine” after the pandemic. But the forum was opening just as St. Petersburg was seeing a terrifying surge in COVID-19 cases, as a third wave fueled in part by the delta variant bore down on the country. The last bulletin before the numbers vanished had shown St. Petersburg hospitalizing 500 people a day -- a record number and one that meant the city would run out of hospital beds within days.

ABCNews.go.com - July 30, 2021

View the full story here: https://abcnews.go.com/International/data-suggests-russias-covid-19-death-toll-higher/story?id=79145618