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A man at a bus stop decorated with posters promoting social distancing and self-isolation in Moscow, Russia A man at a bus stop decorated with posters promoting social distancing and self-isolation in Moscow, Russia  (AFP or licensors)

Chechen leader hospitalized with COVID-19 as Russia struggles

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov reportedly suffers from the coronavirus disease COVID-19. He is among a growing group of high ranking Russian officials being infected with the virus, as Russia struggles to contain the outbreak.

By Stefan J. Bos

Chechen leader,  Ramzan Kadyrov, left Russia's republic of Chechnya and was flown to Moscow for treatment after developing flu-like symptoms, Russian media said. 

His doctor was said to have recommended he travel to the Russian capital. The 43-year old Kadyrov leaves behind a region where he has imposed his interpretation of Islamic law.
Though Kadyrov is now in a Moscow hospital, officials claimed he was still firmly in control and governing Chechnya. However, if confirmed, he would be the latest Russian official to contract the illness COVID-19.
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin only returned to work in the last few days after being treated in hospital for the coronavirus disease.
And President Vladimir Putin's press secretary Dmitry Peskov also tested positive.

More ministers infected

Others include culture minister Olga Lyubimova and construction minister Vladimir Yakushev - as well as Yakushev's deputy, Dmitry Volkov.  Officials say more than 3,000 people have died of the coronavirus in Russia, where medics have complained of a lack of protection and adequate equipment.

Outside Russia, several European countries try to reopen after months of lockdowns that frustrated millions. But authorities condemned large gatherings at beaches and parks in countries where Ascension Day is a national holiday.
Three towns in north-western France shut their beaches on Wednesday due to what authorities called the "unacceptable" failure of people to observe social-distancing rules.
Similar measures were also reported in countries such as the Netherlands. Even medics were fined, including 50 healthcare workers and three people for a protest outside a hospital in the French capital Paris.

More than 400 doctors, nurses, and other staff members wore scrubs and banged trays and pans there. They tried to demand better funding for the hospital, which French media reported faces financial troubles.

22 May 2020, 16:15