Russian President Vladimir Putin is in self-isolation due to coronavirus cases in his inner circle, the Kremlin said on Tuesday, adding that he tested negative for COVID-19.
The announcement came at the Kremlin’s reading of Putin’s phone call with the president of Tajikistan. Putin has been fully vaccinated with the Russian Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, and received his second injection in April.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Putin is “absolutely healthy” but will isolate himself after coming into contact with someone who contracted the virus. He did not clarify how long Putin will remain in self-isolation, but assured that the president will continue to work as usual.
When asked if Putin tested negative for the virus, Peskov said “definitely, yes.”
Peskov did not say which of Putin’s contacts were infected, only saying that there were several cases.
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On Monday, the Russian president attended several public events. He greeted Russian Paralympians, attended military exercises conducted in coordination with Belarus, and met with Syrian President Bashar Assad.
During the meeting with the Paralympic athletes, Putin mentioned that “he may have to quarantine himself soon.”
“Even in my circle there are problems with this COVID,” the Russian leader was quoted as saying by the state news agency RIA Novosti. “We need to investigate what is really going on there. I think I’ll have to quarantine myself soon. Many people around me are sick. “
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When asked why Putin proceeded with public events on Monday, even though he already knew there were coronavirus cases all around him, Peskov said the decision to self-isolate was made after “the doctors completed their tests, their procedures “. Peskov assured that “nobody’s health was in danger” at Monday’s events.
Daily new coronavirus infections in Russia in recent weeks have stalled at around 17,000-18,000, and the daily death toll remains below 800, the highest level in the pandemic. However, there are currently hardly any virus restrictions in Russia.
Russia’s state coronavirus task force has reported a total of 7.1 million confirmed coronavirus cases and 194,249 deaths. However, reports from the government statistics service, Rosstat, that the coronavirus-related death count retroactively reveals much higher figures.
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