One of Vladimir Putin’s most trusted aides Dmitry Peskov was today confirmed as suffering from coronavirus.
Peskov is the Russian leader’s long time spokesman and also deputy head of the presidential administration.
He is believed to have been hospitalised in the elite Kremlin clinic known as Moscow Central Clinical Hospital.
Meanwhile, Russia saw its total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country reach 232,243, surpassing the number of cases in both the United Kingdom and in Spain.
Russia is now the country with the second highest number of coronavirus cases, second only to the U.S.
A record number of 107 coronavirus deaths were also reported in Russia today.
Long-term Kremlin spokesman Dimitry Peskov (pictured in December) has confirmed that he is suffering from the coronavirus, and is believed to have been hospitalised in Moscow
On Tuesday, Russia reported a further 10,899 cases of the coronavirus, taking Russia’s total to 232,243, surpassing the total in the UK
Peskov, 52, was last seen with Putin on 30 April, say journalists. ‘I got sick. I’m getting treatment,’ he said according to RIA Novosti.
He told TASS he had not been in personal touch with Putin for one month.
Peskov himself said that major efforts had been taken to ensure Putin did not become infected.
Peskov’s wife Tatiana Navka , 45, former Olympic champion figure skater and twice World Champion is also infected and is also in hospital.
‘He brought it from work,’ she said.
The former diplomat’s infections follows that of Russian prime minister Mikhail Mishustin who is also hospitalised.
A Kremlin spokesman confirmed Peskov was in the hospital. Russian culture minister Olga Lyubimova and construction minister the head of the Ministry of Construction Vladimir Yakushev are also infected.
Putin was today seen with his close ally Igor Sechin with neither wearing protective masks. Sechin is now head of energy giant Rosneft.
Russia announced a record number of deaths today as the country’s official infection cases passed those of Britain.
This comes amid reports that the Kremlin’s daily figures may be underestimating fatalities by as much as 70 per cent.
Russia today reported 10,899 new cases with a record 107 new deaths. This brings the Covid-19 death toll to 2,116.
A quarter of a million people are under medical surveillance due to being suspected of suffering from coronavirus.
But the statistics may mask an even more serious situation in Russia.
An analysis by The Financial Times showed 2,073 more deaths in April in Moscow and St Petersburg compared to the average figure for the past five years.
Official Russian figures show 629 Covid-19 deaths for the same month, meaning an excess of 1,444 deaths compared with normal mortality levels.
‘If added to the reported national figure of 2,009 Covid deaths as of Monday morning, this would mean a 72 per cent increase in Russia’s national death toll,’ stated the newspaper.
The same figures from civil registry offices show that in April in Moscow there were 1,980 additional deaths in Moscow compared the an average over ten years.
Until now, Russian experts have suggested they are less seriously hit than many Western countries.
But it also seems clear Russia is not listing Covis-19 as a cause when there arer complicating factors in deaths such as cancer or heart trouble.
The revealing excess death statistics from the Moscow civil registry office suggest that either the real number of Covid-19 deaths are higher than have been officially acknowledged, or there has been a rise in non-coronavirus fatalities at a time when hospitals are under pressure from the pandemic – or a combination of both factors.
Russian deputy premier Tatyana Golikova has claimed that infections are growing significantly more slowly in Russia than in Western countries.