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Russia hit by second wave of coronavirus epidemic — expert

To date, more than 5.5 mln coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia

MOSCOW, June 30. /TASS/. The second wave of the coronavirus epidemic has engulfed Russia amid the spread of the Indian strain, Alexander Gorelov, deputy director of the Russian sanitary watchdog’s Central Research Institute of Epidemiology and a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said on Wednesday.

"We have been speaking about the second wave for quite a time. And now, here it is. <…> We are currently living through a classical wave but the players are different. The gene variant is being replaced by a more severe one. We know that it (the Indian strain - TASS) is three times as contagious and, more importantly, it targets younger people," he said in an interview with Russia’s TV Channel One.

The expert stressed that the coronavirus mutation could be stopped only by herd immunity.

According to the latest statistics, around 181.9 million people have been infected worldwide and more than 3.9 million deaths have been reported.

To date, 5,514,599 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 5,000,393 patients having recovered from the disease. Russia’s latest data indicates 135,214 fatalities nationwide. The Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.