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Russian Culture Minister Contracts Coronavirus

Olga Lyubimova Sergei Karpukhin / TASS

Russian Culture Minister Olga Lyubimova has tested positive for the coronavirus, the RBC news website reported Wednesday, citing Lyubimova’s spokeswoman.

Lyubimova’s diagnosis makes her the third Russian cabinet official to become infected with the virus after construction minister Vladimir Yakushev and Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. All three have confirmed their infections in the past week as Russia has seen a steady increase in cases.

The culture minister has been working from home for several weeks and is only experiencing mild symptoms, spokeswoman Anna Usacheva told RBC.

"There is no talk of hospitalization," Usacheva said.

Lyubimova, 39, was appointed in January when President Vladimir Putin reshuffled the cabinet of ministers.

Mishustin, the highest-ranking Russian official to be infected with the coronavirus, has been hospitalized and First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov has been appointed as acting prime minister.

Russia is now the European country registering the most new infections as the number surged past 165,000 on Wednesday.

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