Russian PM contracts coronavirus as cases pass 100,000

(Update 1: Adds news of Russia PM contracting PM, re-leads, edits throughout)

Moscow, Apr 30 (EFE).- Russia’s prime minister Mikhail Mishustin has tested positive for Covid-19 and will take temporary leave as the confirmed number of cases in the country passed the symbolic 100,000 mark while the number of fatalities from the virus sits above 1,000, according to health authorities Thursday.

The prime minister, in power since January, told President Vladimir Putin that he would temporarily hand the reins of government over to his deputy leader Andrey Belousov.

Another 7,099 Covid-19 cases have been detected in the last 24 hours in Russia, the highest daily increase since the virus took hold in the expansive nation.

The jump in confirmed cases brings the total number of infections registered in Russia to 106,498.

The virus has also claimed the lives of 1,073 people overall, 101 in the last 24 hours.

The capital city of Moscow continues to be the epicenter of the outbreak in the country, with 53,739 confirmed cases — over half the total number in the country — and 611 dead.

After Moscow is St. Petersburg, with a total of 3,726 cases detected overall and just 29 fatalities.

Putin on Tuesday extended restrictive measures in place in the country to stem the spread of the coronavirus until 11 May.

Russia has enforced non working days that are paid holidays since April. The head of the Kremlin has extended the measure until 12 May, when one of the most popular bank holidays, which commemorates the Soviet victory in World War II, ends.

Although the Covid-19 fatality rate in Russia stands at around 1 percent, a figure that is lower than most European countries according to official statistics, authorities have warned that they have still not reached the peak of the curve.

“It is a treacherous virus,” said health minister Mikhail Murashko.

“When we apparently have an improvement and there is a noticeable remission of symptoms, it attacks again. That is why it is important to detect changes in the patient’s condition in a timely manner,” he added in an interview with local TV.

Authorities in the far-east region or Primorie Krai, which sits on the Pacific coast, have also strengthened restrictions, requiring citizens to use an electronic pass and wear masks on public transport.

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