A Russian doctor who contracted coronavirus could be jailed after “putting 1,200 people at risk of catching Covid-19”.
Professor Irina Sannikova is facing a criminal investigation after she took a holiday to Spain but failed to disclose the trip or self-isolate as required after returning home.
Instead, the respected medic allegedly became a super-spreader while attending conferences and meetings with doctors and medical students.
Her actions reportedly resulted in at least 11 people testing positive for coronavirus.
Following the revelation, around 700 people have been tested and another 500 are now undergoing checks as fellow medics dubbed her a “biological hazard”.
Dr Sannikova (left) failed to tell colleagues about the trip to Spain
(Image: Alexander Tsvigun / Stavropol Pravda)
Dr Sannikova is the chief infections doctor in Stavropol, an area half as large as England located in southwestern Russia.
She was taken ill and diagnosed with coronavirus on Wednesday, six days after flying back from Madrid, and required an artificial lung machine.
A preliminary criminal case against Dr Sannikova has reportedly already been launched, and it’s understood she could face up to five years in jail for concealing details of her Spanish holiday, so causing a direct threat to life.
Regional governor Vladimir Vladimirov said: “She is an irresponsible person.
“When she recovers, I will charge her.”
Dr Sannikova, who is in her 50s, is an internationally recognised medic and leading expert on infectious diseases in southern Russia.
Dr Sannikova is the chief infections doctor in Stavropol, Russia
(Image: Stavropol Medical University / east2west news)
Professor Irina Sannikova could be jailed after failing to self-isolate after going on holiday to Spain
(Image: social media / east2west news)
Today, her condition was described as “moderately grave” with her life not in danger.
Dr Sannikova’s was branded “selfish” after it emerged she had appeared on TV to lecture Russians on the importance of the “social responsibility” of self-isolating if they are suspected to have the virus.
“Do not go to work, do not sneeze and cough at others,” she demanded one month ago before her vacation.
“Do not use public transport when you are ill. Stay at home.”
She added: “It is the social responsibility of the person for their own and others’ health.”
Dr Sannikova’s colleague and friend, Dr Olga Golub, defended the professor saying she was “a kind and good person, who has worked in medicine for dozens of years”.
She added: “She saved hundreds of people.”
Stavropol regional governor Vladimir Vladimirov has said he will prosecute Dr Sannikova once she recovers
(Image: ATB Media / east2west news)
As of Friday, 253 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Russia, with the highest number of cases in Moscow.
Russia confirmed its first coronavirus related death on Thursday. The woman, believed to be 79-years-old, died as a result of a blood clot.
Svetlana Krasnova, head physician at Moscow’s Infectious Diseases Hospital, said: “The elderly patient had a number of chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, artery disease and hypertension.
“The patient was given complete and comprehensive intensive care.”
Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin called for people to “cut down on contacts as much as possible” during a Government meeting, before banning gatherings of more than 50 people and closing universities and schools.
President Vladimir Putin said that the situation in Russia is “generally under control”, and the Government has promised to ramp up testing numbers.
President Putin also said outbreaks of infection had been controlled as Russia had closed its borders to tourists and foreigners.