Kremlin says Putin does not need a coronavirus test as he has no symptoms

FILE PHOTO: Russian President Putin attends a meeting with public members in Sevastopol

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has not been tested for the new coronavirus and does not need to undergo such a test because he is healthy and has no symptoms, the Kremlin said on Friday.

Russia has reported 199 coronavirus cases so far, fewer than in many other European countries. But the figure has risen sharply in recent days and one person diagnosed with the virus has died.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call that everyone involved in events with Putin, 67, is tested in advance for the virus and that people in Crimea who received state awards from him this week were screened.

"We think these are justified measures so the president can confidently continue working," he said.

"Thank God, he always feels brilliant," Peskov said when asked if Putin had undergone a test.

Peskov said earlier this week that he'd been tested for coronavirus himself along with all high-ranking Kremlin officials.

(Reporting by Tom Balmforth, Maria Kiselyova and Andrew Osborn; editing by Andrew Osborn)