Russia admits coronavirus death toll three times higher than reported

New figures show that more than 186,000 Russians have died from the virus

Russia has admitted its coronavirus death toll is more than three times higher than previously reported.

New figures show that more than 186,000 Russians have died from the virus, up from the 55,265 the country officially reported.

This means that Russia has the third-highest number of fatalities, moving ahead of India and sitting behind only the US and Brazil.

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A Russian Orthodox Church priest, right, leaves a red zone after visiting patients suspected of having coronavirus at a hospital in Kommunarka, outside Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 28, 2020. (Sophia Sandurskaya, Moscow News Agency photo via AP)

A Russian Orthodox Church priest, right, leaves a red zone after visiting patients suspected of having coronavirus at a hospital in Kommunarka, outside Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 28, 2020. (Sophia Sandurskaya, Moscow News Agency photo via AP)

Russia has reported more than 3 million infections since the beginning of the pandemic, but its comparatively low fatality rate had raised eyebrows.

President Vladimir Putin said it was because the country had handled the pandemic so well, but others said it was partly due to the fact that an autopsy had to list COVID-19 as the main cause of death for it to be counted.

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On Monday, government statistics agency Rosstat said the number of deaths from all causes between January and November had risen by 229,700 compared to the same period in the previous year, according to a report by news agency AFP.

Read more at Sky News.