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Putin’s spokesman has coronavirus and is in the hospital

Vladimir Putin's Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly. (The Kremlin/Released)
May 12, 2020

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates as more information becomes available.

A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin has been hospitalized with the coronavirus.

Dmitry Peskov, 52, a Kremlin spokesman told the Russian Interfax news agency he had become sick with coronavirus, The Associated Press reported. “Yes, I’ve gotten sick, he said. “I’m being treated.”

Peskov has been a spokesman for Putin since 2008, but has known and worked with Putin since the early 2000s.

The severity of Peskov’s condition is not known. Russians who exhibit mild coronavirus symptoms are allowed to stay home. Peskov’s hospitalization could be an indicator of a more severe case, or an additional precaution, given his proximity with Putin.

Kremlin press reporters last recalled seeing  Peskov in public on April 30, during what they described as “a meeting with Vladimir Putin.” It was unclear if the two had been in the same room during the meeting or had any contact. Putin has reportedly been conducting all of his recent meetings by teleconference.

Russia had initially indicated minor impact with coronavirus, with relatively few cases, however numbers have been on the rise in recent days. According to Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus case tracking map, Russia now has the second highest number of coronavirus cases, at over 243,000 as of Tuesday morning. Russia posted the highest single day increase in coronavirus cases on Monday, adding more than 11,600 new cases to its official coronavirus tally.