Russian Prime Minister, Mikhail Mishustin today (Thursday 30th) announced to the country’s president Vladimir Putin that he had been diagnosed with the Coronavirus and will be temporarily stepping down to recover from the disease.
Mishustin who is 54 had suggested his first deputy, Prime Minister Andrei Belousov to serve in his stead as acting prime minister while he recovers from the disease. Putin, who appointed Mishustin in January, supported the proposal.
Mishustin is the first high-ranking officer in the country to declare the result of his diagnosis while being the main coordinator of Russia’s response to the coronavirus pandemic within the country. He made this known in a news after the number of cases in Russia has surged past 100,000 mark.
Mishustin told Putin about his diagnosis during a televised video conference.
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“I have found out that the coronavirus tests I had done returned with a positive result,” Mishustin said. “I need to self-isolate, and follow doctors’ instructions. This is necessary for the safety of my colleagues.”
Mishustin said he would remain in contact with members of the government and Putin by phone and video conference despite his condition.
Putin told Mishustin to call him as soon as he reached hospital and wished him a speedy recovery. The case of Mishustin showed that anyone is at the risk of contracting the disease according to Putin. Russia this week had seen a surge in numbers which has now surpassed those of China and Iran in the number of confirmed cases. There have also been about 1,073 coronavirus-related deaths.
President Putin had in fact warned that the peak of the outbreak is yet to come and so instructed authorities that there could be a spike in cases if the population flouts lockdown measures during public holidays by early May.
The world’s largest country by territory, Russia has been on lockdown since Putin announced the closure of most public spaces in late March to limit the scope for the virus to spread.Putin and the cabinet have been holding remote meetings to avoid contact