The head of a remote Siberian region has contracted the coronavirus a second time in what may be Russia’s first documented case of reinfection.
Sholban Kara-Ool, the governor of the republic of Tyva on the Mongolian border, was admitted to the hospital again this week three months after his first hospitalization. He said doctors diagnosed him with pneumonia.
“I almost believed that you couldn’t get sick with it twice,” Kara-Ool said in an Instagram video he posted from the hospital Monday.
“Maybe that’s why I got sick.”
Kara-Ool, 54, said his latest symptoms consisted mainly of a severe headache, a shift from the chest pain he experienced three months ago.
He first contracted Covid-19 on May 24 and was discharged on June 4.
In Hong Kong, scientists claimed to have discovered the world’s first case of reinfection when a 33-year-old resident tested positive at an airport screening earlier in August. His reinfection came four and a half months after he recovered from Covid-19 and was assumed to have developed immunity.
European virologists have also confirmed two reinfections in the Netherlands and Belgium, the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty outlet reported Tuesday.
Siberian City’s First Female Mayor Steps Down
Sardana Avksentiyeva, the popular independent mayor of one of the world’s coldest cities, has submitted her resignation nearly three years after defeating a Kremlin-backed rival for the role.
Avksentyeva, 50, became the first woman mayor of the Siberian city of Yakutsk in September 2018 elections that drew international attention for being free and fair and has risen to nationwide prominence since. Questions regarding her political future sprang up in recent weeks after reports suggested that she could step down over health concerns.
The Yakutsk mayor, whose supporters call her “Iron Lady,” confirmed reports of her resignation Monday.
“I must admit that I can no longer work 24/365,” Avksentiyeva wrote in an Instagram post. “I’m going to the hospital tomorrow; surgeries are soon.”
Avksentiyeva urged constituents to vote for her successor Yevgeny Grigoryev in direct elections she said will be held March 28.
“The municipal team will now be able to continue everything we started without delay, and the people’s interests and their opinion will continue to be a priority,” she wrote.
“If citizens approve Grigoryev, then ‘continuity’ will survive in the city.”
The 14News Telegram channel, which in November reported on Avksentiyeva’s upcoming resignation, cited unnamed sources in the regional administration as saying her sudden departure was linked to pressure from the authorities. According to the outlet, authorities in the republic of Sakha some 4,500 kilometers east of Moscow were allegedly preparing a criminal case against Avksentiyeva’s husband.