Vladimir Putin will take no more chances with coronavirus and ‘work remotely’, the Kremlin reveals after physician he shook hands with a week ago tested positive for Covid-19
- Kremlin spokesman said that Putin was ‘taking all precautionary measures’
- Fears were raised after a hospital doctor tested positive soon after meeting Putin
- Putin, 67, is chairing virtual meetings from his official residence outside Moscow
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
Vladimir Putin will ‘work remotely’ from now on, the Kremlin said today after a doctor he recently met tested positive for coronavirus.
The Russian leader ‘prefers these days to work remotely’ and is ‘taking all precautionary measures’, his spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
Putin, 67, is currently at the presidential residence in Novo-Ogaryovo outside Moscow where he was due to hold a cabinet meeting by video conference today.
Concerns were raised yesterday after Denis Protsenko, the head of the country’s main coronavirus hospital, tested positive a week after meeting Putin there.
Russian president Vladimir Putin (right) shakes hands with physician Denis Protsenko (left) on a hospital visit last week. Protsenko has since been confirmed as a coronavirus patient
Putin is now ‘working remotely’ and taking ‘all precautionary measures’, the Kremlin said after he met now-infected doctor Protsenko last week (pictured)
Protsenko had shaken hands with Putin during a presidential visit to the Kommunarka hospital in Moscow last Tuesday.
The medic said yesterday that he had been infected with the coronavirus but was feeling well.
Putin wore a bright yellow hazmat suit at the hospital, but was also seen talking to Protsenko without any protective gear.
However, the Kremlin said there is no reason for concern about the president’s health.
‘All of those who were with the president at Kommunarka are being tested daily for the coronavirus,’ Peskov added, after saying on Tuesday that ‘everything is fine’.
Asked if Putin continued to shake hands with those he is meeting, Peskov said: ‘Of course everyone is now social distancing.’
Almost 70 per cent of Russia’s 147 million population has been ordered into strict confinement over the pandemic.
Putin is pictured walking along the corridors of Kommunarka hospital, accompanied by the hospital’s chief physician Denis Protsenko (right), last week
Putin was wearing yellow protective gear for part of his visit to the hospital (pictured), but was also seen without it
Russia has so far registered 2,777 cases of the coronavirus and 24 deaths, mostly in Moscow.
Most Moscow residents can leave their homes only to buy food or medicine nearby, get urgent medical treatment, walk the dog or empty their bins.
Eight southern Russian regions rolled out lockdown measures similar to Moscow on Wednesday.
The capital’s Red Square has been largely empty except for police who stopped occasional passersby to check their papers.
A Moscow official said today that the city had developed a smartphone app for infected residents that would allow officials to monitor their movements.
The app will be available from Thursday, the official, Eduard Lysenko, told the Ekho Moskvy radio station.
Lysenko said that anyone without a device that is able to download the tracking app would be lent one by city authorities that they would later return.
The Russian capital is also preparing to roll out a QR-code system where each resident that registers online will be assigned a unique code that they can show to police officers if stopped when going to the shop or the chemist, he said.
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