Russia’s low virus death toll still raises questions in West

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s official death toll of about 6,950 from the coronavirus is far below many other countries, even though its reported 529,000 infections is behind only the United States and Brazil. This paradox has led to allegations by critics and Western media that Russian authorities may have falsified the numbers for political purposes to play down the scale of the outbreak. Even a top World Health Organization official says the relatively low number of deaths “certainly is unusual.” Russian authorities have bristled at the suggestions, denying any manipulation. Still, other factors could contribute to the low mortality rate, including how Russia counts deaths.