Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - HTSPOTLIGH­T -

MOSCOW: Rus­sia’s PM Mikhail Mishus­tin re­turned to his du­ties on Tues­day af­ter re­cov­er­ing from the coronaviru­s, as to­tal in­fec­tions ap­proached 300,000 and of­fi­cials said new cases were drop­ping off. Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin signed a de­cree re­in­stat­ing Mishus­tin as the head of govern­ment, nearly three weeks af­ter the prime min­is­ter an­nounced on tele­vi­sion he had tested pos­i­tive for coronaviru­s.

Mishus­tin checked him­self into hospi­tal and his deputy was named in­terim prime min­is­ter, but he con­tin­ued to par­tic­i­pate in meet­ings via video-link wear­ing a suit and tie. The 54-year-old ex-tax chief was ap­pointed prime min­is­ter in a sur­prise govern­ment shake-up ear­lier this year but had lit­tle time to make an im­pact be­fore the coronaviru­s pan­demic hit. His re­in­state­ment came af­ter health of­fi­cials re­ported 9,263 new in­fec­tions in Rus­sia over the last 24 hours, bring­ing the to­tal to 299,941, the sec­ond-high­est in the world af­ter the US. Mishus­tin was just one of sev­eral high-rank­ing Rus­sian of­fi­cials to have been in­fected, in­clud­ing the min­is­ters of cul­ture, ed­u­ca­tion and con­struc­tion, as well as Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

The prime min­is­ter said Mon­day that Rus­sia had stopped the growth of new in­fec­tions, but cau­tioned that the sit­u­a­tion re­mained “dif­fi­cult”. He cred­ited a na­tion­wide lock­down and “sys­tem­atic work” over the past two months for slow­ing the rate of new in­fec­tions. The Krem­lin last week eased anti-virus mea­sures im­posed in March and Mishus­tin said that dozens of re­gions through­out the coun­try were ready to lift lock­down.


Rus­sian Prime Min­is­ter Mikhail Mishus­tin at a meet­ing.

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