(BBC) – Moscow’s authorities have more than doubled the official death toll from Covid-19 in the Russian capital for the month of April.
The city’s health department now says 1,561 people died from the disease – not 639 as initially announced.
The department stressed that the new tally included even the most “controversial, debatable” cases.
Moscow-based reporters had said the official numbers were too low, but were accused of fake news and distortion.
Confirmation that the numbers had been under-reported emerged before Russia announced 232 new deaths, its biggest daily death toll during the pandemic so far.
With 8,572 new recorded infections, Russia has the third highest number in the world of 387,623 cases. The official number of deaths stands at 4,374.
The government says the country’s mass testing programme is responsible for that low mortality rate – but many believe the numbers are in fact far higher.