By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV
MOSCOW (AP) — Russia has recorded the highest daily numbers of coronavirus infections and deaths since the start of the pandemic, a rapidly surging toll that has severely strained the nation’s health care system. The government’s coronavirus task force reported 31,299 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 986 deaths on Thursday. The country has repeatedly marked record daily death tolls over the past few weeks as infections surged amid a slow vaccination rate and lax enforcement of measures to protect against the coronavirus. But the Kremlin has also ruled out a new nationwide lockdown like the one during the first months of the pandemic. The lockdown badly crippled the economy.