Russian prime minister tests positive for coronavirus

Russia’s prime minister is the latest world leader to reveal that he has coronavirus, according to a report.

Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said that he tested positive for COVID-19 during a video meeting with President Vladimir Putin broadcast on the state-run Rossiya 24 television channel Thursday, The Moscow Times reported.

Mishustin, 54, who was appointed PM in January, had been playing a leading role in the country’s response to the deadly coronavirus pandemic, which has led to at least 1,070 confirmed deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University, which tracks worldwide cases.

He is self-isolating and has taken a temporary leave from his job.

Putin appointed First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov as acting prime minister.

“I have to observe self-isolation and follow orders of doctors. This is necessary to protect my colleagues,” he told Putin, promising to be in constant contact “on all the main issues.”

During the televised meeting, Putin said that what happened to Mishustin could happen to anyone, and asked Mishustin to keep in touch while in the hospital.

The news came as Russia’s number of coronavirus infections surpassed 100,000 in a one-day surge.

Putin began working remotely at the start of April, a week after visiting Russia’s main coronavirus hospital in Moscow, whose chief doctor tested positive for the virus soon after Putin’s visit.

Putin had said earlier that he would accept President Trump’s offer to send ventilators to the country as needed.

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