Kremlin spokesman hospitalized with COVID-19

Pablo Tucker
May 20, 2020

Russian President Vladimir Putin's press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, has tested positive for the deadly virus and is now undergoing treatment at a hospital.

Government officials say the country's mass testing programme is responsible for that low mortality rate, but many believe the number is in fact far higher. Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin announced on April 30 that he was infected. On Monday, Putin said Russian Federation said the outbreak had slowed down and announced that he was planning to lift some of the nationwide lockdown restrictions. But he added that every Russian region should make its own decisions on loosening restrictions, based on advice from medical experts, conditions in their area and the ability to ensure sanitary and safe conditions as people get back to work.

At least 2,116 people in Russian Federation have died because of the virus at the time of this writing. "I am receiving treatment", new agencies quoted him as saying.

The revelation of his contraction of the coronavirus came a day after Putin lifted a partial economic shutdown imposed in late March to stem the outbreak.

Even though coronavirus is spreading through the Kremlin, Peskov claims the last time he met Putin was "more than a month ago".

The Kremlin says Putin's health is rigorously protected. Vladimir Yakushev, the Minister of Construction and Housing, was hospitalized with the virus on May 1 and Olga Lyubimova, the Minister of Culture, tested positive for the virus on May 6. However, it remains unknown whether the Kremlin representative contacted the president.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin meets with members of his government to discuss easing coronavirus lockdown measures.

He had said Russian Federation was starting to exit "gradually and very carefully" from coronavirus-related restrictions, some of which will be maintained for some territories and enterprises. However, despite the high number of confirmed cases, only a total of 2,116 Russians have died from the virus since the outbreak.

The lockdown in Moscow and St. Petersburg is expected to last until May 31 at the very least. Though construction and industrial workers must now return to work in the city, everyone must wear face masks and gloves in shops and on public transport.

Residents still can not leave home unless to shop, work or walk the dog, and must have a digital permit to travel. The US leads the list with almost 1,350,000 cases.

The UK has the highest number of such deaths in Europe with more than 32,000 but excess deaths - which include those indirectly caused by virus - top 50,000.

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