Russia hits new virus death record as autumn surge persists

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia has recorded a new record-high daily death toll from COVID-19, continuing a persistent rise that has brought new records almost daily in October. The national coronavirus task force reported Saturday that 968 people in Russia died of COVID-19 over the past day. That’s about 100 more daily deaths than were recorded in late September. The task force said more than 29,000 new infections also were confirmed in the past day. Authorities blame the steep rise on the country’s low vaccination rate. The deputy prime minister said Friday that 47.8 million Russians, or almost 33% of the population, had received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.