Russian officials on Tuesday said that President Vladimir Putin visitors meeting at his country residence must first pass through a walk-through device that sprays them with disinfectant, to protect him from the coronavirus.
Putin has been self-isolating at his Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow under lockdown although he made a public appearance without a mask at an outdoor event on the June 12 Russia Day holiday.
The authorities in Penza region east of Moscow where the device was made boasted that it “ensured the safety of the head of government and all those who visit him.”
The Penza regional government has also said that the president’s staff got in touch with the manufacturing company, which until the virus outbreak specialised in automatic cleaning equipment for industrial use.
The device includes facial recognition technology and can take people’s temperatures, according to the manufacturers.
The Kremlin has imposed a range of measures to protect Putin including regular virus testing of the leader and all those who come into contact with him.
Visitors have to take a virus test before meeting Putin, his spokesman said.
In an apparent close brush with the virus in March, Putin was shown on television shaking hands with the chief doctor at a Moscow virus hospital while neither was wearing a mask. The doctor, Denis Protsenko, soon afterwards tested positive.
On June 9, the easing of restrictions was announced andcomes as the Kremlin is gearing up for a crucial July 1 vote that could extend President Putin’s grip on power until 2036.
The 67-year-old leader also wants to stage a major World War II military parade which was postponed because of the epidemic and rescheduled for June 24.
Last month, Putin had said that the country passed its peak of novel coronavirus infections.
The exponential surge in COVID-19 cases forced the Russian President to postpone the parade but he had promised that the nation will celebrate it on a “grand scale”.
Putin had said “strict safety measures” would need to be put in place for the parade.