Russian President Vladimir Putin misses direct communication with people amid the lockdown protocols and restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov was cited as saying on the "Moscow. Kremlin. Putin" show on Rossiya-1 TV channel.
"I believe that he is missing this, the trips and live interaction with people… This aspect of his work has always been an absolute priority for the President, as it offers him a much-needed reality check,” said Peskov.
However, Peskov underscored that the changes to Vladimir Putin’s work schedule necessitated by the current coronavirus situation in no way affected its intensity… If anything, it has become “much more intense than usual”, stressed Peskov.
Measures in place to slow down the spread of the coronavirus, such as stay-at-home and social distancing protocols, have required changes to the usual work routine of the Russian President.
These include recent high-profile events such as the OPEC+ meeting on 9 April taking the form of an online video conference, followed by Friday’s video meeting of the G20 energy ministers.
Most Russian regions have enforced self-isolation rules, recommending people stay home except for essential needs as well as keep a social distance of 1 metre.
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin tightened the lockdown on Russia’s capital, Moscow, introducing a system that will require people to receive permission to travel starting next week, to avoid a spiraling number of coronavirus cases and undue strain on the medical services. As of Sunday the number of those who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Russia had spiked by 2,186 in just 24 hours.
Earlier, Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that hospitals in Moscow have been working 'extremely hard' amid the pandemic, with at least two more weeks required to see whether Russia was close to the peak of the outbreak.
According to the presidential spokesman, if Vladimir Putin had not signed a decree on the isolation regime, the country could have seen a huge rise in the number of COVID-19 cases.
Russia currently has confirmed more than 15,000 COVID-19 cases, with 130 deaths, according to the country's response centre.
The majority of these new cases were registered in Moscow.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, there are currently over 1,792,899 registered cases of COVID-19 globally, with the death toll standing at 110,042.