In a deeply alarming development for a nation of almost 150 million people, Russia's coronavirus cases have spiked by over 6,000 on Sunday, marking the 8th consecutive one-day record, the independent Moscow Times reports.
The nationwide infection tally is now at 42,853 following Sunday's reported record rise of 6,060 cases - the most ever in a 24-hour period.
This despite in the early months of the crisis Russia reporting far fewer infections than most western European countries, though Russian officials at times warned they believed the reality to be far worse.
The country has been on lockdown since March 30, with Russian Orthodox Easter services which fell on this weekend curtailed to smaller numbers of celebrants (one week later than the holiday in the West).
"Orthodox priests have held Easter services in churches empty of parishioners because of restrictions imposed to block the spread of coronavirus," AP reports.
Coronavirus cases began exploding early this month, with even President Putin having been exposed by an infected Moscow doctor, but subsequently testing negative, but still working in isolation out of an abundance of caution.
Moscow Deputy mayor Anastasia Rakova over the weekend indicated city authorities in the country epicenter of Moscow will see the worst in the "difficult weeks" ahead.
"The peak in morbidity should arrive in the next two to three weeks," she said.
The AFP has cited claims by Russian health officials to have carried out some 1.7 million coronavirus tests, however, there's also been questions over the sourcing and reliability of the tests.