No lockdown plans in Russia as virus deaths hit new record

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian authorities have reported a record-breaking 679 new coronavirus deaths, a fourth day in a row with the highest daily death toll in the pandemic, yet the Kremlin has insisted that no plans for another lockdown are being discussed. Russia has struggled to cope with a surge in infections and deaths in recent weeks that comes amid slow vaccination rates. Daily new infections have more than doubled over the past month, soaring from around 9,000 in early June to over 20,000 this week. On Friday, Russia’s state coronavirus task force reported 23,218 new cases. But the authorities are not discussing a lockdown, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday.