COVID cases in Russia surpass 2 million as infections and deaths hit new highs

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Temporary hospital for COVID-19 patients inside exhibition pavilion in Moscow

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's COVID-19 case tally passed the 2 million mark on Thursday as the number of daily deaths and infections hit new highs.

Russia, which has a huge testing programme and a population of around 145 million, has the world's fifth largest number of cases after the United States, India, Brazil and France.

Despite a recent surge in cases, authorities have resisted imposing lockdown restrictions across the country as they did earlier this year.

Instead, they have imposed strict rules for wearing masks and gloves, stressed the importance of hygiene and social distancing, and some regions have brought in their own targeted measures.

The coronavirus crisis response centre reported on Thursday that there had been 23,610 new daily infections and 463 deaths related to COVID-19.

There were 6,438 new cases in Moscow, the country's worst affected area, it said, where restrictions include remote learning for secondary school children and overnight closures of bars, restaurants and nightclubs.

(Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov; Writing by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Andrew Osborn)