Russians stood in line to receive an injection of the Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19 at a vaccination site in Moscow on Friday. Photo by Yuri Kochetkov/EPA-EFE
June 26 (UPI) -- Russia recorded the highest number of new daily COVID-19 cases in more than six months Saturday as the country endured a surging outbreak of the Delta variant.
The Russian anti-coronavirus crisis center reported 21,665 new COVID-19 cases -- the highest number since Jan. 21, TASS reported.
There were also 619 new COVID-19 deaths nationwide, the most in a single day since Dec. 24, officials said. The country recorded 601 deaths the previous day.
The new infections included 8,457 in Moscow, which has been at the center of the pandemic in Russia since March of this year. The capital saw 7,916 new infections the prior day, bringing the total number of cases in the country's capital and largest city to over 1.3 million.
Moscow posted 96 new deaths from COVID-19 on Friday, just two short of the all-time single-day high set the previous day.
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin ordered a 30% reduction in the number in-office workers starting Monday.
"The current situation suggests that we actually living through the coronavirus pandemic raging in Moscow anew," he told Russian television, urging a "quick large-scale vaccination" to halt the pandemic.
Since the pandemic began, COVID-19 has infected more than 5.3 million people in Russia and killed over 130,000, according to Johns Hopkins University's global tracker of COVID-19 cases and deaths.
Sobyanin said last week that nearly 90% of Moscow's new infections are the Delta variant of the coronavirus first detected in India.
Russia's consumer protection watchdog told state-run RIA Novosti news agency Friday it is investigating media reports of a new Delta Plus coronavirus variant within the country.
National Institutes of Health official Dr. Anthony Fauci (C) speaks about the coronavirus during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C. Health and Human Services Secretary Alexander Azar (L) announced that the United States is declaring the virus a public health emergency and issued a federal quarantine order of 14 days for 195 Americans. Photo by Leigh Vogel/UPI | License Photo