• Russia is now the second country with the highest number of COVID-19 cases
  • Dmitry Peskov, Putin's spokesperson, confirmed he has coronavirus
  • Putin has permitted factory and construction workers to return to work

Russia moves up as the second country with the highest number of cases in the world with the addition of 10,800 positive COVID-19 patients in just one day.

The daily tally from the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center shows Russia has a total of 232,243 cases as of May 12, eclipsing Spain, the United Kingdom, Italy and France.

According to BBC, it has been the 10th consecutive day that Russia logged new coronavirus cases of above 10,000. However, despite the high number of confirmed cases, only a total of 2,116 Russians have died from the virus since the outbreak. The government said its mass testing capabilities is a major factor in its low death rate.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin meets with members of his government to discuss easing coronavirus lockdown measures. Creative Commons

The news comes as President Vladimir Putin's spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, confirmed he is positive for COVID-19.

"Yes, I have fallen ill," Peskov said via the state media after word got out that he is in the hospital. "I am receiving treatment."

His wife, Tatyana Navka, is also positive for COVID-19, as she posted on her Instagram account. She revealed she is getting much better but her husband's case is more complicated. The couple had to isolate and stay at a hospital to protect their other family members.

Peskov said he last saw Putin face-to-face over a month ago. He is the latest high ranking Russian official to have caught the virus after Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, who contracted the infection at the end of April. Mishustin spent over a week at the hospital for his COVID-19 symptoms.

The hospitalization of Peskov happened a day after Putin announced those in factories and construction may return to work Tuesday.

But Moscow's lockdown still effective until May 31 and businesses are still closed while workers remain at home. The locals are also mandated to wear masks and gloves when they are in public places.

Other Russian regions, however, have started easing its restrictions as people have been permitted to go walking, hiking or enjoying outdoor sports. In a handful of places in the far east, malls and shops have resumed operations.

Only those over 65 years old are strictly required to remain in isolation, regardless of where they live. Putin has also banned mass gatherings for the foreseeable future.