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COVID-19: Russia Reports Single-Day Record For Fatalities; Iran's Parliament Speaker Tests Positive

Medical specialists wearing protective gear walk past ambulances outside a hospital for patients infected with the coronavirus on the outskirts of Moscow.

The global death toll from the coronavirus is more than 1.1 million, with more than 44 million infections confirmed, causing mass disruptions as governments continue to try to slow the spread of the respiratory illness.

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


The Russian government reported 346 new COVID-19 fatalities on October 27, setting a single-day record for the entire coronavirus pandemic.

According to government figures released on October 28, there were also 16,202 new coronavirus infections over the previous 24 hours, including 3,670 new cases in Moscow alone.

Russian government figures, which have been criticized for possibly understating the situation, include cases and fatalities from the Ukrainian Black Sea region of Crimea, which Moscow forcibly annexed in 2014.

In all, 26,935 people have died of the disease in Russia and Crimea since the start of the pandemic, according to the government.

Russia’s Health Ministry said on October 28 that it was looking into the situation in the Siberian city of Omsk one day after a protest by ambulance drivers there.

The Omsk ambulance drivers brought COVID-19 patients to the regional Health Ministry building and sounded their sirens to draw attention to the lack of beds in city hospitals, which were reportedly turning ambulances away.

Omsk Governor Aleksandr Burkov on October 28 suspended regional Deputy Health Minister Anastasia Malova, who oversees emergency medicine for the region, for seven days pending an investigation into the situation.


The president of Iran’s parliament has tested positive for the coronavirus and is self-isolating.

Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf posted on Twitter that he would continue working from quarantine.

Iran has been the worst-hit country in the Middle East during the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 580,000 cases and 33,000 fatalities, according to official figures.

Iran recorded a record-high single-day fatality figure of 415 on October 28, eclipsing the previous record of 346 set the previous day.

The country recently introduced new lockdown restrictions in several cities as it, like many other countries around the world, experiences a new spike in infections.

About half of the civil servants in the capital, Tehran, have been ordered to work from home.


In Southeastern Europe, Bulgaria will close all nightclubs, while students from high schools and universities will study online for two weeks as of October 29 as the country grapples to contain a surge in coronavirus infections.

With reporting by RFE/RL's Russian Service and dpa