Russian statistics soar for virus-linked deaths in 2020

FILE – In this May 15, 2020 file photo, cemetery workers in protective suits disinfect a grave as they bury a COVID-19 victim in a section of the Butovskoye cemetery reserved for coronavirus victims outside Moscow, Russia. Russia’s updated statistics on coronavirus-linked deaths show that 162,429 people with COVID-19 had died in the pandemic last year, a number much higher than previously reported by government officials. The state statistics agency, Rosstat, released figures for December on Monday, Feb. 8, 2021 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.