Russian PM has coronavirus as cases surge past 100,000

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has tested positive for coronavirus and is in self-isolation.

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin on Thursday announced he has tested positive for the coronavirus, as the country's number of confirmed cases surged past 100,000 after its largest daily increase. In a televised meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Mishustin said he has to "observe self-isolation" to protect his colleagues, suggesting a temporary acting PM. Putin swiftly signed a decree appointing First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov as a temporary replacement. The president assured Mishustin that contracting COVID-19 "can happen to anyone" and that no major decisions would be taken without his input. "I hope that you stay able to work," Putin told Mishustin, who is the highest Russian official to become infected. "Call me as soon as you arrive to the hospital," said Putin, who appointed Mishustin in a surprise decision in January, picking the formerly obscure tax service chief to replace longtime premier Dmitry Medvedev. Putin has not held any face-to-face meetings for weeks, according to the Kremlin website, and was last shown in the same room as Mishustin on March 24.

A spike of 7,099 confirmed infections in the last 24 hours brought Russia's total to 106,498 cases and 1,073 deaths, according to the government's daily coronavirus update. With its number of cases increasing by several thousand each day, Russia is now the European country registering the most new infections.

Source - AFP



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