Russian President Vladimir Putin’s closest aide, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said he has coronavirus on May 12 and is now hospitalised. In an unprecedented development of the pandemic in the Russian Federation, Peskov told a news agency that “Yes, I’ve gotten sick. I’m being treated”. Peskov has been the spokesperson for Putin since 2008 and had started working with him back in the 2000s.
Even though coronavirus infected people with mild to no symptoms of the disease are not hospitalised in Russia, the reason behind Peskov’s admission remains unclear if it indicates the seriousness of symptoms or it is an extra precautionary measure. According to Russian media reports, Peskov was apparently last seen in public on April 30 “at a meeting with Vladimir Putin”. However, it is not known if both individuals were in the same room as the meetings in the Russian government have been switched to teleconferences.
The news of Peskov contracting coronavirus came as already three cabinet members have been infected from the COVID-19 disease including Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. Even though Russia has publicly reported at least 232,000 cases of the highly contagious disease until May 12, Putin had said on May 11 that the country was successful in flattening the curve and announced the lifting of some restrictions.
With Peskov testing positive of the COVID-19 disease, Russia has third-highest confirmed cases of coronavirus after the United States and Spain in the world. Currently, Russia has 186,615 active cases of coronavirus and has already reported 2,116 fatalities. According to recent announcements by the Russian government, people in the country will be required to wear masks and gloves at all times when outside their homes. However, the pharmacy shops in the country have reportedly raised warnings over a shortage in thermometers. On May 11 Russia also reported a record-high number of daily infections with at least 11, 656 new cases.