Russian PM Mikhail Mishustin Tests Positive For Covid-19

LAGOS MAY  2ND   (NEWSRANGERS)- Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said Thursday that he has tested positive for the new coronavirus, becoming the highest-ranking Russian official known to have gotten infected.

Mishustin told President Vladimir Putin during a video call that he would self-isolate but planned to stay in touch on key policy issues. It wasn’t immediately clear when the two men last met.

Since early in the outbreak, the Russian president has minimized meetings and switched to holding daily video calls with officials.

First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov will temporarily perform Mishustin’s duties.

Mishustin, a 54-year old former tax chief, was named prime minister in January. During the video call, which was recorded and later televised, he didn’t say if he had COVID-19 symptoms or anything about his general condition. He displayed no visible signs of illness and spoke without difficulty.

Putin wished Mishustin a swift recovery and said he hoped the prime minister would continue taking part in drafting policies to shore up the Russian economy, which has been hurt by the virus pandemic.

“What happened to you, could happen to anyone,” Putin said. “Along with other Cabinet members and colleagues from the presidential office, you have undoubtedly been in the zone of high risk.”

“No matter how you limit contacts, it’s impossible to avoid communication with people while drafting decisions,” Putin said.

He asked the prime minister to call him after checking into a hospital.

Russians who have the virus but light or no symptoms of illness are allowed to stay home, and it wasn’t immediately clear if Mishustin’s hospitalization reflected the gravity of his condition or was an extra precaution.

“I hope you will remain in good physical shape and take an active part in drafting decisions that we discussed today,” Putin said in a reference to a call with top officials earlier Thursday. “Those decisions will not be made without your participation, your input.”

In Russia, the prime minister oversees the economy and answers to the president.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, who leads a government panel tasked with managing Russia’s virus oubreak, said Mishustin had undergone regular testing for the virus and strictly observed safety protocols to avoid exposure or spreading the virus.

“It’s a signal to all of us – let’s drop all that populist talk” about lifting restrictions, Sobyanin said in televised comments.

Times Magazine

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Posted by on May 2 2020. Filed under Health, International, National. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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