Russian statistics soar for virus-linked deaths in 2020

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s updated statistics on coronavirus-linked deaths show that 162,429 people with COVID-19 died last year, a number much higher than previously reported by government officials. The state statistics agency, Rosstat, released figures for December on Monday, updating its count of coronavirus-linked deaths that includes cases where the virus wasn’t the main cause of death and where the virus was suspected but not confirmed. December accounted for the highest number of deaths since April — 44,435 — according to Rosstat. That’s when infections in Russia soared and officials regularly reported over 27,000 daily new coronavirus cases.