The chance that Russian President Vladimir Putin will become infected with the coronavirus like US President Donald Trump seems small.
Even so, if you compare the measures that affect both heads of state. Whereas Trump hardly cares about the coronavirus and usually goes to meetings and election rallies without a mask, Putin has been living in his own little bubble since the pandemic’s outbreak under the strictest security conditions.
For example, Putin has been working from home for almost the entire period and mainly directs his team via video conferences. According to state media, he has withdrawn for this on his estate Novo-Ogaryovo, west of Moscow. In April, a Kremlin spokesperson said that anyone wishing to meet the president would have to undergo a corona test and that social distance should be strictly respected.
In June, another gear was shifted to safeguard the president’s health. For example, according to news channel CNN, special decontamination tunnels were installed in the Kremlin and in Putin’s home, through which everyone had to pass before he or she will meet the president.
According to the Russian investigative journalism site Proekt, anyone who even briefly wants to be photographed with the president would have to go into quarantine for a fortnight, regardless of rank or position.
The employees closest to the president – such as secretaries, speechwriters, and photographers – are spread over residences in Moscow and Sochi. Both groups first had to quarantine for two weeks in a wellness resort in the area and were tested extensively.
The number of Putin’s public appearances has been greatly reduced. And the few times the president still shows up at events, nothing is left to chance. In May, he attended a Victory Day parade commemorating the victory over Nazi Germany. The veterans who were near him had to be quarantined for two weeks. And in September, during a meeting with the Senate in the Kremlin, images showed that there was a social distance of at least ten meters between Putin and the others in attendance.
The Russian president is known to be in good health, in good shape, and living very frugally, unlike President Trump, who is overweight. Putin is already 67 years old, and because of his age, he belongs to a risk group.
The Russian president has already sent a telegram to Trump to wish him and his wife Melania a speedy recovery. ‘I am sure that your innate vitality, your good humor, and your optimism will help you to get this dangerous virus down,’ said a Kremlin statement.