Critics of Vladimir Putin have slammed him for thinking he's 'immune' to coronavirus after he was seen without a mask at a hospital riddled with Covid-19.
Putin and his loyal aides took the huge risk last week after they visited Moscow’s main coronavirus ward at Kommunarka.
On arrival, he was not pictured to be wearing any protective gear, and was later snapped alongside medics who were not wearing masks or gloves – even though they treat highly infectious coronavirus patients.
Nurses and doctors then watched on as he put on a yellow protective suit outside a coronavirus ward.
Critics of the 67-year-old Russian reportedly believe he thinks he is “immune” to the disease, which has killed 34,020 worldwide.
Even chief hospital nurse Lyudmilla Larionova said she was “shaken” by Putin’s decision to visit the coronavirus ward at the weekend.
Putin visited the hospital in Moscow, Russia on Saturday, which is currently treating 350 Covid-19 patients.
The country has so far had 1,534 confirmed coronavirus cases, with eght Russians succumbing to the disease.
There has been criticism that Putin’s government has not taken coronavirus seriously and ex-president Dmitry Medvedev hinted that a change of approach was needed.
One critic posted: “The Russian elite think they are immune from coronavirus.”
Despite Putin’s decision to visit the hospital without protection gear, a top Russian ally, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, warned: “Nobody is safe.”
Putin had claimed “all safety precautions were taken” but critics further pointed out the leader shook hands with medical staff.
He also held hospital meetings alongside Sobyaning without protective gear and did not adhere to social distancing measures other countries have become accustomed to.
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Kremlin foe and former chess champion Garry Kasparov accused Moscow of a cover-up over infection numbers and alleged Putin’s "regime lies constantly".
He told the Washington Post: “While Covid-19 was filling European hospitals, Russia was still filling soccer stadiums with fans and, in one case, the opening ceremony of a chess event in a theatre with more than a thousand people
"Like most dictatorships, Putin’s regime lies constantly, even when it doesn't have to.
"Authoritarian regimes are obsessed with information control, especially when there is news that could make them look weak.
"No appearance of vulnerability can be permitted, otherwise the people might start getting dangerous ideas."
The capital has tough isolation rules from today while Putin has put the entire country on a one week holiday in a bid to slow the spread.
Were Putin to be incapacitated, little known technocrat prime minister Mikhail Mishustin, 54, would temporarily take over the Kremlin but experts forecast a raging battle as competing clans vie for power.
- Vladimir Putin
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