Russia’s death toll from COVID-19 has surpassed 50,000

Russia’s death toll from the novel coronavirus has surpassed 50,000, authorities said on Saturday.

A total of 585 more deaths pushed the toll up to 50,374, while infections surged by 28,209 to reach 2.8 million, according to latest data.

Russia’s overall tally is the fourth highest in the world, behind the US, India, and Brazil.

Recoveries grew by 26,109 over the past day to hit 2.25 million, leaving the country’s active case count at 514,340.

With the spread of the virus slowing over recent weeks, Anna Popova, Russia’s chief sanitary officer, said the country may be able to overcome the crisis by the end of spring.

“It will be over by spring, and if we try, it may be over sooner. It depends on everyone today,” she told reporters.

However, she said it was expected that COVID-19 will go on to become a part of the so-called seasonal illnesses such as the common cold and flu.

Meanwhile, Russia started a large-scale public vaccination drive, offering Sputnik V initially to people in high-risk groups including medical workers and teachers.

Moscow announced the registration of Sputnik V back in August, after it had completed the second phase of trials. While the shot is yet to complete its third and final phase of testing interim trial results showed 95 percent efficacy.