MOSCOW | Vladimir Putin must isolate himself after several cases of COVID-19 in his entourage, the Kremlin announced on Tuesday, which had taken drastic measures since the start of the pandemic to protect the Russian president.
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“Due to the identified cases of coronavirus in his entourage, Vladimir Putin must respect a regime of self-isolation for a certain period of time,” the presidency said in a statement.
Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov assured reporters that Vladimir Putin was “in perfect health” and had undergone a drug test, but the Kremlin did not reveal the result.
According to Peskov, several cases of coronavirus have been detected in the Russian president’s entourage, but he did not specify who he was or if they were vaccinated against Covid.
“The isolation will not directly affect the work of the president, but now there will be no full-time events for a while,” he added.
Russia is one of the states in the world where the epidemic has claimed the most deaths and vaccination, amid mistrust of the government, is lagging behind. The country has been particularly afflicted by the Delta variant, which has been wreaking havoc since June.
According to the statistics agency Rosstat, some 350,000 Russians had died of COVID-19 by the end of July 2021. According to a count on the Gogov site, only 27.3% of the Russian population was fully vaccinated.
The Kremlin added that the Russian head of state was not going to participate in person on Friday in a regional summit of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), an organization of former Soviet republics, expected this week in Tajikistan. .
Putin, 68, had been vaccinated in March away from cameras against the coronavirus using Moscow’s flagship injection, Sputnik V. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Russian authorities have deployed a drastic device aimed at prevent Vladimir. Putin did not come into contact with the virus.
The Russian media have thus said that the people authorized to approach him had until recently to spend 14 days in quarantine in hotels.
A disinfection sluice had also been installed that sprayed products to visitors authorized to see it.
Putin has recently resumed his trips to Russia and his meetings in public, working most of the time by videoconference, meetings that are broadcast daily on television.
On Monday he met the Paralympic athletes returning from Tokyo.
According to images from the Ria Novosti agency, then he considered it possible to have to isolate himself soon, but the Kremlin spokesman immediately claimed that the president was speaking “figuratively”.
At the beginning of the pandemic, in March 2020, Vladimir Putin shook hands and was in close contact, without a mask, with the chief physician of one of the major hospitals treating coronavirus patients. The doctor, Denis Protsenko, announced shortly after being contacted by Covid.
Many top Russian officials have been infected and sick, including Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Prime Minister Mikhail Michoustine and several ministers.