March 18, 2020 / 12:17 PM / 17 days ago

Putin is being protected from coronavirus around the clock, says Kremlin

Russia's President Vladimir Putin attends a session of the lower house of parliament to consider constitutional changes in Moscow, Russia March 10, 2020. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS/Files

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin is being protected from coronavirus around the clock, the Kremlin said on Wednesday, saying all Kremlin staff involved in his events schedule were undergoing mandatory testing for the virus.

Russia has recorded 147 cases of coronavirus so far and the authorities have temporarily barred foreigners from entering the country in an effort to prevent it spreading further.

“Everything needed to protect the president from viruses and other illnesses is being done around the clock,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

“The president’s work schedule is public and the best proof of the state of his health.”

Peskov has previously declined to say whether Putin has been tested for coronavirus, but has said that the president’s medical care is of an exceptionally high level.

Putin on Wednesday was visiting Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014. Journalists travelling with Putin on the trip were tested beforehand to prove they were not carriers of the virus.

The Kremlin has also told journalists to stay away if they feel unwell.

Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, said on Wednesday that he’d been tested for coronavirus himself along with all high-ranking Kremlin officials.

Reporting by Anastasia Teterevleva and Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Andrew Osborn

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