Russia reported 8,779 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the total number of recorded infections to 502,436, according to the country’s coronavirus response headquarters.

Over the past 24 hours, 174 people have died, taking the overall official toll to 6,532.

Observers have cast doubt on the country’s counting method, which permits ascribing deaths in patients who tested positive for coronavirus to other causes such as terminal illnesses and other underlying conditions.

On Wednesday, Moscow released mortality statistics for May, saying that in 5,260 cases coronavirus was “the main or concurrent cause of death.” The city’s health department said that only in 2,757 cases was coronavirus recorded as the main cause of death.

Earlier this week, Moscow’s mayor lifted self-isolation restrictions and the city is expected to reopen by the end of the month.

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that a postponed nationwide vote on constitutional reforms that could allow him to stay in power until 2036 would go ahead on July 1.

The country’s massive May 9 Victory Day military parade was also rescheduled to take place on June 24.