Russia on Saturday said that it recorded more than 10,000 deaths from the coronavirus pandemic, a count that is still far lower than in other countries with major outbreaks.

The number of deaths has now reached 10,027, the government information website said, up by 168 from Friday.

Russia has confirmed 674,515 cases, the third-largest total in the world, although the daily infection rate has been falling over the last month.

The country’s death count is much lower than in other countries with large outbreaks, raising questions over possible underreporting of deaths.

Earlier, President Vladimir Putin has been self-isolating at his Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow under lockdown although he made a public appearance without a mask at an outdoor event on the June 12 Russia Day holiday.

In an apparent close brush with the virus in March, Putin was shown on television shaking hands with the chief doctor at a Moscow virus hospital while neither was wearing a mask. The doctor, Denis Protsenko, soon afterwards tested positive.

Russia has acknowledged that the death figure on the government website only includes cases where the virus was classed as the main cause of death on the death certificate.

Moscow city health department also released data on deaths in May using this method of classification, showing 5,260 virus-related deaths that month.

On June 9, the easing of restrictions was announced andcomes as the Kremlin is gearing up for a crucial July 1 vote that could extend President Putin’s grip on power until 2036.

In May, Putin had said that the country passed its peak of novel coronavirus infections.