Coronavirus: Russian president to join extraordinary G20 summit

Mr Putin has said the virus is "under control" in Russia

epa08318641 Russian President Vladimir Putin while visiting a hospital for patients with suspected COVID-19 disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in the Kommunarka settlement in New Moscow, Russia, 24 March 2020. According to the Russian Quarantine Service of Rospotrebnadzor (Russian Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing), 495 cases of the Covid-19 disease have been confirmed so far in Russia. Countries around the world are taking increased measures to stem the widespread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus which causes the Covid-19 disease.  EPA/ALEXEI DRUZHININ / KREMLIN POOL / SPUTNIK MANDATORY CREDIT

Russian President Vladimir Putin will join world leaders in an extraordinary G20 summit to discuss the coronavirus on Thursday, the Kremlin said.

Confirmation that Mr Putin will be joining the summit of G20 economies came on Tuesday after finance ministers and central bankers agreed during a separate video conference on Monday to develop an “action plan” in response to the outbreak.

Mr Putin claimed this week to have coronavirus “under control” in Russia after infections were “contained.” However, the number of cases rose this week with 71 new infections announced on Monday taking the total to 495 by Tuesday afternoon.

Mr Putin has stopped short of imposing a lockdown but announced plans this week to develop a system that uses mobile phone geolocation date to track people who have come into contact with the disease.

The new measure “would allow citizens to be notified (over the phone) if they have been in contact with a person suffering from the new coronavirus, sending relevant messages to inform them of the need for self-isolation...” the Kremlin’s communications ministry said in a statement.

Last week police in Moscow said they have used facial recognition technology to catch more than 200 people who violated the terms of their self-isolation or quarantine.