Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, hospitalised with coronavirus

Peskov’s hospitalisation comes as the number of coronavirus cases in Russia rises to above 232,000.

Dmitry Peskov - Reuters
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov listens during Russian President Vladimir Putin's annual end-of-year news conference in Moscow, Russia December 19, 2019 [File: Evgenia Novozhenina/Reuters]

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman has been hospitalised with the coronavirus.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the Interfax news agency on Tuesday: “Yes, I’ve gotten sick. I’m being treated.”

Peskov, 52, has been Putin’s spokesman since 2008 but started working him with in the early 2000s.

Russians who have the virus but with light or no symptoms of illness are allowed to stay home.

It was not immediately clear if Peskov’s hospitalisation reflects the gravity of his condition or was an extra precaution.

Reporters from the Kremlin pool said on Twitter Peskov was last seen in public on April 30 at a meeting with Putin. It was not clear whether it means the two were in the same room, as Putin has been conducting all his meetings via teleconference in recent weeks.

Since early in the outbreak, the Russian president minimised meetings and switched to holding daily video calls with Cabinet members and aides. 

Peskov’s announcement comes just a day after Putin said Russia was successful in slowing down infections and announced easing some of the nationwide lockdown restrictions.

Russia, one of the world’s worst-hit countries in terms of the number of cases, has reported more than 232,000 confirmed coronavirus infections as of Tuesday.

However, its death rate remains much lower, in relative terms, than many other countries. Russia has reported more than 2,000 deaths. 

Hours before Putin made televised remarks Monday about ending the country’s partial economic lockdown, health officials reported a daily record of more than 11,600 new cases.

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin revealed on April 30 that he had tested positive for the virus and planned to self-isolate. Putin asked the prime minister to call him after checking into a hospital.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies