Chechen Leader Hospitalized With COVID-19

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By Stefan J. Bos, Special Correspondent Worthy News

(Worthy News) – There was mounting uncertainty Saturday over the health of Chechen autocratic leader Ramzan Kadyrov after conflicting reports over whether he suffers from the coronavirus disease COVID-19.

A top official of Chechnya on Friday denied reports in even state media that Kadyrov, was hospitalized with suspected COVID-19 symptoms.

Chechen parliament speaker Magomed Daudov, who also heads the Chechnya’s coronavirus task force reportedly wrote on his Instagram website: “I declare that our head of the republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, is healthy (and) what they write and say about him is all untrue.”

However, several other state media reports noticed that Kadyrov left Russia’s republic of Chechnya and was flown to Moscow for treatment after developing flu-like symptoms, Russian media reported. 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.

He was questioned and criticized over the reported mistreatment and killings of gays and political opponents. “You know who defends human rights here. All those who defend human rights groups and the gays we supposedly have in the Chechen Republic are foreign agents,” Kadyrov countered to reporters recently. “They have sold out their country, their people, their religion. Everything.”

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.

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 was 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.

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