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The funeral of a person who died from the coronavirus in the town of Kolpino, outside of St. Petersburg
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Multiple Russian regions record significant spikes in mortality rates for June 2020

Source: Open Media
The funeral of a person who died from the coronavirus in the town of Kolpino, outside of St. Petersburg
The funeral of a person who died from the coronavirus in the town of Kolpino, outside of St. Petersburg
 Dmitry Lovetsky / AP / Scanpix / LETA

In June 2020, mortality rates in multiple Russian regions increased significantly against the backdrop of the ongoing coronavirus epidemic, according to statistics from civil registry offices, Open Media reports. 

The regions home to cities with more than one million people that published mortality statistics for the month of June include the Novosibirsk and Sverdlovsk regions, as well as the city of St. Petersburg — all of these places saw their mortality rates increase by tens of percentage points compared to June 2019.

In the Novosibirsk Region, 3,606 people died in June 2020 — a 33 percent increase from the 2,711 deaths recorded in June 2019. The Sverdlovsk Region saw 5,275 deaths in June 2020, marking a 22 percent increase from the 4,341 deaths registered during that same month last year. Of the three, St. Petersburg saw the biggest jump in its mortality rate with 7,106 deaths this June — 55 percent more than the number of deaths in June 2019. This figure set a ten year record for the most deaths St. Petersburg has registered in a single month.

The St. Petersburg authorities confirmed that the coronavirus caused the jump in the city’s mortality rate. The municipal health committee noted that in the first six months of 2020, St. Petersburg had 3,915 more people die than the year before. However, 2,419 of these deaths were among people who had been diagnosed with COVID-19, but died due to other chronic illnesses, while 1,281 people died of the coronavirus directly. According to the daily reports from Russia’s operational headquarters for the fight against the coronavirus, however, officially only 1,541 people have died of COVID-19 in St. Petersburg since the start of the pandemic.

According to the St. Petersburg authorities, the city’s coronavirus epidemic peaked during the last week of May and the first ten days of June, so the mortality rate should decrease in July. “Already the number of hospitalizations in reprofiled hospitals has decreased by more than 70 percent compared to the peak period,” the health committee noted.

Open Media calculated that in the 18 Russian regions that have already released mortality rate statistics for June 2020, a total of 8,583 more people died than during that same month the year before — a general increase of 30 percent. Russia’s public health authority, Rospotrebnadzor, only reported 1,407 coronavirus deaths in these regions.

Text by Grigory Levchenko

Translation by Eilish Hart