Russia

Putin spokesman hospitalized with coronavirus

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Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, confirmed Tuesday that he has been hospitalized with the novel coronavirus.

“Yes, I got sick, I’m being treated,” Peskov told state-run news agency Interfax.

Peskov is the fifth senior government official confirmed to have tested positive for the virus, according to the Moscow Times, following Culture Minister Olga Lyubimova, Construction Minister Vladimir Yakushev, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and Sergei Kiriyenko, a deputy chief of staff to Putin.

Peskov told state media that he has not met with Putin face to face in at least a month. Previously, Putin visited the main hospital treating coronavirus patients in Moscow and shook hands with the chief doctor, who tested positive for the virus a few days later. Putin has been working remotely at the presidential residence in Novo-Ogaryovo since April 1.

Peskov’s wife Tatyana Navka, a well-known ice dancer, told Russian media Tuesday she has also been hospitalized with the virus, and that her husband “brought it from work.”

“The entire family was under strict isolation. My husband’s been working. In that regard, there’s only one argument: it’s probably him, since he was the first to get sick,” she said.

After early signs that Russia would not see the same devastation from the virus as Europe, the country has emerged as a hot spot in recent weeks. At least 165,929 people have been diagnosed with the virus and it has reached a growth rate that is among the highest in the world.

Despite these developments, Putin on Monday announced an end to the nationwide stay-at-home order for workers at nonessential businesses.

“Starting from tomorrow, May 12, the national period of non-working days will be over for all sectors of the economy,” the Russian president reportedly said Monday. “The epidemic and associated restrictions have had a strong impact on the economy and hurt millions of our citizens. It is in the interest of all of us for the economy to return to normal quickly.”

Tags Coronavirus Dmitry Peskov Interfax Moscow Times Russia Vladimir Putin
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