Coronavirus doctor who shook hands with Vladimir Putin tests positive for bug

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Russia’s top coronavirus doctor has caught the bug one week after meeting and shaking hands with Vladimir Putin.

Denis Protsenko, 44, heads Kommunarka infectious diseases hospital in Moscow which was visited by the Russian President last week.

The pair were seen close together and twice shook hands without protective gear.

They were also in a meeting in Protsenko’s office with other top officials including Russian deputy premier Tatiana Golikova, 54, who is in charge of Russia’s coronavirus response. 

Mr Protsenko’s diagnosis following his proximity to the Russian leader has raised questions about the leader’s health.

A statement released by the Kremlin after Mr Protsenko’s symptoms became known announced that Putin was being regularly tested for coronavirus while assuring Russians that “everything is okay”.

In recent days there has been concern at what appears to be a lapse in the security of the Russian leader.

People follow social distancing as they line up to enter a supermarket, amid the coronavirus (COVID-19)

While Putin wore a hazmat suit and mask when he toured Kommunarka’s coronavirus wards, he shed the protective clothing while in other parts of the hospital.

Chief hospital nurse Lyudmila Larionova said she was “shaken” by Putin’s decision to enter the coronavirus wing, which is treating 350 victims and saw two fatalities at the weekend.

Mr Protsenko is receiving care in his own hospital but remains working, he told Podyom media.

On Sunday Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov defended the leader’s visit to the hospital on 24 March.

“He always prefers to see with his own eyes how things are going ‘on the frontline,’” he said.

“Putin would not be Putin if he did not decide to go there.”

Speculation has been rife when it comes to the health of many world leaders.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been in self-isolation since last week after catching the coronavirus.

His Health Minister Matt Hancock also has the bug.

US President Donald Trump tested negative for the virus in the middle of March, despite having met at his Florida resort with a Brazilian delegation, some of whom have tested positive.

The King of Thailand, Rama X, does not have the disease but is ensuring that he sees out the pandemic in style.

He is staying in a Bavarian four start hotel with 20 concubines.

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