İrem UZUN -TDO- Vladimir Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov has been diagnosed with coronavirus and is being treated in hospital. “Yes, I am sick, and receiving treatment,” he told reporters on a phone call on Tuesday. He said he had not seen Putin in person for more than a month. Peskov has been Putin's spokesman for more than a decade, however he started working him with in the early 2000’s.
Russia the second highest toll in the world after the U.S. It has confirmed 232,000 cases of coronavirus in total. In the last 24 hours, the country has reported 10,899 infections, the tenth consecutive day that number has been above 10,000. Despite the number of confirmed cases, Russia's death toll is only 2,116. While many people think the real number is hidden, government officials say their mass testing program is responsible for that low mortality rate.
Peskov has become the fifth top government official that tested positive for the virus. Putin's chief of staff Sergei Kiriyenko tested positive in mid-April, according to The Moscow Times. Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin also tested positive at the end of April, in addition to Russia's culture minister Olga Lyubimova and construction minister Vladimir Yakushev.
Russia started to ease lockdown restrictions despite recording a record number of infections and deaths. President Putin announced the end of six weeks of "non-working days" in a televised address on Monday. He called millions of Russians to return to work and announced measures to support the Russian economy. He criticized businesses for the doubling of unemployment rate since the start of the pandemic and said they should have held on to their employees during the crisis.