Coronavirus | Russian doctor who met Vladimir Putin last week diagnosed with COVID-19

Russian President Validimir Putin visited the Kommunarka hospital on March 24 where he chatted with doctor Denis Protsenko


A doctor who gave Russian President Vladimir Putin a tour of Moscow’s main coronavirus hospital last week said on March 31 he had himself been diagnosed with the virus.

Mr. Putin visited the Kommunarka hospital on March 24 where he chatted with the doctor, Denis Protsenko. Neither of them were wearing protective equipment during their conversation, TV footage from the visit showed.

Mr. Protsenko, writing on Facebook said, “Yes, I have tested positive for coronavirus, but I feel pretty good. I’ve isolated myself in my office. I think the immunity I’ve developed this month is doing its job.”

The Kremlin said that Mr. Putin was being regularly tested for coronavirus and that “everything is okay,” the RIA news agency reported.

It previously said that Mr. Putin is being protected from viruses and other illnesses “around the clock”.

Mr. Putin donned a hazmat suit and a respirator during his visit to the hospital last week when dropping in on patients. But he did not have his protective gear on during a meeting with Mr. Protsenko, with whom he was photographed shaking hands.

The Kremlin reported a coronavirus case in Mr. Putin’s administration on March 27, but said the person in question had not come into contact with the President and that all measures were being taken to prevent the virus from spreading further.

Russian lawmakers on March 31 granted the government powers to declare a national emergency over the coronavirus, and approved penalties for violations of lockdown rules including, in extreme cases, jail terms of up to seven years.