Russia reports record daily virus deaths

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Russia has reported a record high of 439 new deaths linked to the novel coronavirus and authorities in Moscow say they could consider imposing additional restrictions if the situation worsens.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said he did not expect the surge in cases in the capital, which reported nearly 6000 new infections on Thursday, to subside soon.

He said about 12,000 coronavirus patients were currently hospitalised.

The sprawling city of nearly 13 million people has already ordered bars, restaurants and nightclubs to close at 11pm and moved university and college students to online learning.

"I hope that more restrictions will not be needed, but that will depend on the situation," Sobyanin said in an interview with state television on Thursday.

Nationwide, Russian authorities reported 21,608 new infections in the past 24 hours.

Wary of crippling the economy and destroying jobs, they have said they will not reimpose a full lockdown like that seen earlier this year, stressing the importance of hygiene, social distancing and targeted measures in certain regions instead.

With 1,858,568 infections since the start of the pandemic, Russia has the world's fifth-largest number of cases after the United States, India, Brazil and France.

Russia has reported 32,032 deaths in all from COVID-19.