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COVID-19: Russia Reports Record Daily Increase; Pakistan's Parliament Speaker Tests Positive

By RFE/RL May 01, 2020

The global death toll from the coronavirus is more than 233,000 with almost 3.3 million infections confirmed, causing mass disruptions as governments continue to try to slow the spread of the new respiratory illness.

Here's a roundup of COVID-19 developments in RFE/RL's broadcast regions.


Russia on May 1 reported 7,933 new cases of the coronavirus during the previous 24 hours -- a record daily increase that has brought the country's acknowledged nationwide tally to 114,431 cases.

The daily toll is nearly 900 cases higher than the previous record of 7,099 new infections reported by Russia a day earlier.

Meanwhile, Russia's official nationwide death toll on May 1 stood at 1,169 after the country's coronavirus crisis response center reported 96 fatalities during the previous 24 hours.

Critics point to official figures on cases of pneumonia, which is often caused by the coronavirus, as evidence that Russia's real number of COVID-19-related deaths is higher.

The latest tallies come a day after Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin announced in a video call with President Vladimir Putin that he would self-isolate because he had tested positive for the coronavirus. The 54-year-old Mishustin was named prime minister in January.

Mishustin's spokesman, Boris Belyakov, said late on April 30 that Mishustin would be kept under observation at an unnamed medical facility.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin announced that Putin had signed a decree appointing First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov as acting prime minister to "ensure uninterrupted functioning of government."

Putin and many other senior Russian officials have been working remotely in recent weeks in an effort to shield themselves from the pandemic.


The speaker of Pakistan's National Assembly has tested positive for COVID-19, raising concerns about whether he infected other officials.

"I have quarantined myself at home," Asad Qaiser, who is also a close aide to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, said on Twitter on April 30.

Qaiser met with Khan on April 27 as well as with other leading Pakistani politicians figures over the past few days, local media reported. He also hosted an iftar dinner to celebrate Ramadan.

Qaiser is the second individual infected with COVID-19 to come into contact with Khan.

Faisal Edhi, the head of Pakistan's biggest charity organization who was also diagnosed with COVID-19, recently met with Khan at the prime minister's office.

Khan last month tested negative for the disease. It is unclear if he will be tested again.

Pakistan is seeing a growing number of cases as its ramps up testing. The country now has more than 17,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with more than 400 fatalities.

Though small in comparison to the United States, Western Europe, Russia, and China, the number of cases in Pakistan is rapidly growing with nearly 1,000 new infections reported on April 30, the country's largest single-day tally.

Pakistan, which has a population of more than 200 million people, is testing about 8,000 individuals a day.

With reporting by Reuters, Dawn, AFP, AP, dpa, TASS, and Interfax

Source: wrapup-covid-19-may-1/30587102.html

Copyright (c) 2020. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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