Russian Prime Minister Has COVID-19

No word on when Mikhail Mishustin last met in person with Putin
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 30, 2020 1:47 PM CDT
Russia's Prime Minister Tests Positive for Virus
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin attends a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin via teleconference in Moscow on Thursday, April 30, 2020.   (Dmitry Astakhov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin says he has tested positive for the coronavirus and has told President Vladimir Putin he will self-isolate, per the AP. First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov will temporarily perform Mishustin’s duties, but the prime minister said Thursday that he would stay in touch on key issues. Mishustin, 54, was named prime minister in January. During a video call, Putin voiced hope that Mishustin would continue taking part in drafting policies to shore up the Russian economy, which has been hurt by the virus pandemic. In Russia, the prime minister oversees the economy and answers to the president. It was not immediately clear when Putin last met with Mishustin in person. The Russian president has minimized meetings and switched to holding video conferences with officials during the pandemic.

Elsewhere, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the UK is “past the peak” and “on a downward slope” in its coronavirus outbreak. In his first news conference in more than a month following his hospitalization with COVID-19 and his subsequent recuperation, Johnson said he would be presenting a “comprehensive plan” next week about how and when the UK will ease the lockdown restrictions, which are due to last at least until May 7. Johnson is widely expected to extend the current lockdown further. Johnson also voiced frustrations in getting personal protective equipment and in ramping up the testing program, but he insisted that the government was throwing “everything at it, heart and soul, night and day, to get it right.” (Johnson just became a father.)

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