Russian space official tests positive for coronavirus after attending Soyuz crew launch to International Space Station

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A Russian space official has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the country's space agency announced.

According to Space.com, Russia has said it's "impossible" that any contamination has spread to the International Space Station, which holds astronauts from multiple countries.

The Russian news agency TASS confirmed last week that Evegeny Mikrin, the deputy CEO and chief designer at RSC Energia, tested positive for COVID-19.

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An artist's rendering of a Soyuz spacecraft. Image: NASA.

An artist's rendering of a Soyuz spacecraft. Image: NASA. (NASA)

As of Wednesday afternoon, there were more than 2.6 million cases of coronavirus worldwide, including at least 57,999 in Russia.

"Mikrin has passed two tests for the coronavirus and both are positive. He has been included in the list of 30 persons officially declared as infected in Roscosmos [Russia's space agency]," an anonymous source told TASS.

Mikrin has reportedly not shown any clinical symptoms of the disease.

"Potential ISS contamination is absolutely impossible as the number of personnel involved in the related operations has been minimized and those remaining follow the strictest rules and precautionary measures to prevent any possible threat to the crews," the Roscosmos press office told Space.com.

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"The same goes about all the Roscosmos staff and those responsible for continuous operations — the number of personnel present at their workplaces has been minimized with most of them working remotely," Roscosmos added. "Others are obliged to follow strictest precautionary measures."

The International Space Station is the longest continuous human presence in low Earth orbit, and it has been visited by 239 people from 19 different countries as of September 2019.