- The Washington Times - Friday, March 27, 2020

The Kremlin on Friday confirmed Russian media reports that a member of President Vladimir Putin’s administration contracted COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists he is aware that a member of the president’s administration has become infected with COVID-19, Russian state media reported.

Mr. Peskov added that the unidentified individual has not had any contact with Mr. Putin, Russian media reported.

“This proves once again that the precaution measures when participants in all the events with the president are invited to undergo tests prior to the event are justified,” said Mr. Peskov, according to the government-run TASS news agency.

The Kremlin’s acknowledgment came on the heels of Russian news organization RBC reporting Thursday that one or two members of Mr. Putin’s administration may have tested positive for COVID-19.

“I can confirm one case and I know nothing about the second case,” Mr. Peskov told journalists afterward, TASS reported.

Russian officials have reported more than 1,000 cases of COVID-19 across the country as of Friday.

Internationally, Johns Hopkins University has documented more than 558,000 cases of COVID-19 since the disease was first discovered in China in late December.

At least 25,000 people who contracted COVID-19 have died from the respiratory disease, according to the university.

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