Russian President Vladimir Putin had a very close brush with the Covid-19 coronavirus last week and it remains to be seen if he was infected.
Putin made a heavily publicized visit to the main Moscow hospital treating Covid-19 patients last Tuesday and met with its head, Dr. Denis Protsenko, even shaking his hand, without protection.
Tuesday Protsenko revealed on Facebook that he has tested positive for the virus.
Addressing his readers as “Dear friends,” Protsenko wrote: “Yes I have a positive test but feeling pretty good. I was in my office with all the conditions for remote work, management and medical advice.” He added that he believes he has developed an immunity to the disease.
“Widely disseminated photos of the visit showed Putin donning an orange hazmat suit, but he had also talked to … Protsenko extensively without protection and photographs show them together with very little ‘social distancing,” reports the Daily Beast.
A Kremlin spokesman says Putin is tested frequently for infection and insists he is well.
“Protsenko, 44, has been the face of Moscow’s battle with coronavirus for many Russians thanks to his regular posts on social media calling attention to the domestic spread of the pandemic,” says Bloomberg News. “In the week since his meeting with Putin, Moscow has gone on lockdown, with people told to remain at home.”
The Russian government reported that as of Tuesday a total of 2,337 people have tested positive for the virus — a 27% jump in just one day.