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Russia’s homophobe-in-chief is self-isolating after coronavirus hospital chief tests positive

Josh Milton April 2, 2020

Russian president Vladimir Putin greeted by chief physician Denis Protsenko on his visit to the Novomoskovsky multipurpose medical centre for patients suspected of the COVID-19 coronavirus infection. (Alexei DruzhininTASS via Getty Images)

Vladimir Putin is self-isolating after meeting a leading coronavirus doctor who subsequently tested positive for COVID-19, the Kremlin said Wednesday (April 1).

Putin visited Russia’s main coronavirus hospital, Kommunarka, last Tuesday (March 24) where he chatted and shook hands with its head doctor Denis Protsenko.

TV footage from the visit showed that neither wore protective kit, and on Tuesday (March 31), Protsenko announced he had since been diagnosed with COVID-19.

“Yes, I have tested positive for coronavirus, but I feel pretty good,” he wrote on Facebook.

“I’ve isolated myself in my office. I think the immunity I’ve developed this month is doing its job.”

Vladimir Putin is working ‘remotely’ after hospital chief he met tests positive for coronavirus. 

Following the scare Kremlin representatives said Putin is working remotely as part of wider precautionary measures and is being regularly tested for coronavirus.

Vladimir Putin has been vastly distant from delivering harsh measures during the coronavirus, leaving regional representatives to do so instead. (Alexei DruzhininTASS via Getty Images)
Vladimir Putin has been vastly distant from delivering harsh measures during the coronavirus, leaving regional representatives to do so instead. (Alexei DruzhininTASS via Getty Images)

“The president prefers these days to work remotely,” a spokesperson said, per the Saudi Gazzette.

“We are taking all precautionary measures.”

They added that Putin is now “maintaining a social distance” from the presidential residence in Novo-Ogaryovo, outside Moscow, and is now conducting meetings with government officials by video conference.

How is Russia bracing itself for the coronavirus pandemic?

Kremlin officials have insisted for weeks that, unlike their European counterparts, Russia would handle the virus smoothly and without disruption.

In the last few days however, regional representatives have been forced to accelerate measures, disrupting daily life for ordinary Russians to minimise the spread.

Russia's president Vladimir Putin holds a meeting at Novo-Ogarevo residence via video link with government members. (Alexei DruzhininTASS via Getty Images)
Russia’s president Vladimir Putin holds a meeting at Novo-Ogarevo residence via video link with government members. (Alexei DruzhininTASS via Getty Images)

At the time of writing, 3,548 cases of coronavirus and 30 deaths have been reported in Russia by local authorities.

Regional governments fear that when coronavirus cases do surge, the country’s ramshackle public health system will be unable to handle the sheer number of patients.

Putin has sought to distance himself from the stiff measures imposed by his officials, and has been holed up in his country estate even before Protsenko’s diagnosis.

More: Coronavirus, Russia, Vladimir Putin

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