Russia confirmed 8,706 new coronavirus or COVID-19 cases on Sunday taking the total tally due to the deadly virus more than 520,000 as the data showed that over 2,700 people got infected with the virus lost their lives in April.

With 520,129 cases, Russia has the third-highest number in the world after the United States and Brazil. Its official death toll stands at 6,829, many times lower than the figure seen in other countries with serious outbreaks. The Kremlin has denied any problem with its official data after the World Health Organization (WHO) said Russia's low death rate was "difficult to understand".

Russia Grapples With Coronavirus

Coronavirus
Workers make face masks at the workshop of a company in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, Jan. 28, 2020. To help fight the outbreak of pneumonia caused by novel coronavirus, workers of local medical material companies in Hubei Province rushed back to work to make protective masks, clothing and other protective equipment to guarantee the supplies. (Xinhua/Cai YangIANS) Xinhua/IANS

Rosstat, the country's state statistics service, on Saturday published data showing that 2,712 people infected with the coronavirus had died in April. The virus was identified as the main cause of death in 1,660 cases, the data showed. Rosstat's total death tally was significantly higher than that published earlier by Russia's coronavirus taskforce, which releases data on new cases and deaths on a daily basis. Data from the taskforce indicated that the virus had caused 1,145 deaths in April.

In a briefing on Saturday, Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova, who chairs the taskforce, said that the statistics on the number of deaths might need to be revised, the RIA news agency reported. The taskforce declined to comment further. Moscow's health department this week raised its death toll for May, citing changes in the way it determines the cause of death for patients suffering from other health problems.

The deadly virus outbreak has created a major stir around the world in recent times claiming the lives of more than 426,000 people worldwide and over 7.6 million people globally in more than 170 countries.

(With agency inputs)