MOSCOW, RUSSIA – MARCH 24, 2020: Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in a yellow protective suit sprayed with disinfectant on his visit to the Novomoskovsky multipurpose medical center for patients suspected of the COVID-19 coronavirus infection. Alexei Druzhinin/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS Ðîññèÿ. Ìîñêâà. Ïðåçèäåíò ÐÔ Âëàäèìèð Ïóòèí â æåëòîì çàùèòíîì êîñòþìå âî âðåìÿ ïîñåùåíèÿ ìíîãîïðîôèëüíîãî ìåäèöèíñêîãî öåíòðà “Íîâîìîñêîâñêèé”, êóäà ãîñïèòàëèçèðóþò ïàöèåíòîâ ñ ïîäîçðåíèåì íà êîðîíàâèðóñ COVID-19. Àëåêñåé Äðóæèíèí/ïðåññ-ñëóæáà ïðåçèäåíòà ÐÔ/ÒÀÑÑ

MOSCOW, March 26. /TASS/. The visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to the medical facility for COVID-19 patients in Moscow’s Kommunarka was not staged, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday when asked to comment on the rumors on social networks.

“99% of what you see on social networks right now is probably nonsense,” he said. “The chief physician [of the hospital in Kommunarka Denis Protsenko] did not even know that Putin would visit. He saw Putin when he went out to meet [the delegation], he did not know that the president is coming there,” Peskov said. “So it was not staged at all.”

On Tuesday, Putin visited the hospital in Kommunarka, inspecting the hospital for COVID-19 patients. He was given a tour of the hospital by the facility’s chief physician Denis Protsenko.

On Thursday, Moscow officials informed that the total number of those infected with COVID-19 in the Russian capital had reached 546, rising by 136 in the past 24 hours. Russia has identified 840 cases of the virus, two people have died, 38 have recovered.

In late December 2019, Chinese authorities notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) have been reported in more than 150 countries, including Russia.

On March 11, WHO declared the outbreak of COVID-19 a global pandemic. As of now, over 450,000 people have been infected around the world and more than 21,000 have died.

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