Russia has registered a total of 698 cases of Omicron, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova informed on Wednesday, adding that the capital region is likely to suffer most from the new coronavirus variant.
"Now we have identified and we see 698 cases in the system. Most of these cases occur in the Moscow region, and we understand that most likely the metropolitan region, as, unfortunately, this negative tradition has already developed, will take the first blow of the spread of the new strain," Golikova told a government meeting.
Data compiled by the Reuters COVID-19 tracker show Russia's reported pandemic death toll stands at more than 666,000, the second-highest in the world behind the United States.
Speaking to President Vladimir Putin at a televised government meeting, Golikova said Russia could see COVID-19 cases increase "several-fold" in light of the new variant.
"We are preparing additional measures for an urgent response," she said. "The proposal will be formulated by the end of the week."
Russia's top consumer health official Anna Popova on Tuesday warned that daily COVID-19 infections could hit six figures if proper sanitary measures were not observed.
On Wednesday Russia reported 17,946 new cases and 745 deaths in the previous 24 hours.
(with agency inputs)
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