Putin in isolation after COVID scare amongst inside circle

Day earlier than starting interval of self-isolation, Russian chief met Paralympians, officers and Syria’s president.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in isolation after individuals in his inside circle turned contaminated with the coronavirus, however the chief himself has examined unfavourable for COVID-19, based on the Kremlin.

The Russian chief defined the scenario to a authorities assembly on Tuesday by video convention, after the Kremlin mentioned he was “absolutely” wholesome and didn’t have the illness himself.

Putin, who’s absolutely vaccinated with Russia’s Sputnik V, held a number of public engagements indoors on Monday, most of which have been indoors and the place it appeared from photographs on TV that nobody wore masks.

He shook arms with Russian Paralympic athletes and pinned medals on them, attended army workout routines alongside different officers, and met Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose hand he additionally shook.

“It’s a natural experiment. Let’s see how Sputnik V works in practice,” Putin mentioned. “I have quite high levels of antibodies. Let’s see how that plays out in real life. I hope everything will be as it should be.”

Putin, 68, mentioned the circumstances had compelled him to cancel a deliberate journey to Tajikistan this week for regional safety conferences anticipated to deal with Afghanistan, however that he would participate by video convention as a substitute.

Playing down pandemic

During a each day convention name with reporters, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov mentioned that Putin is “absolutely healthy” however had are available contact with somebody who contracted the virus.

Asked if Putin examined unfavourable for the virus, Peskov mentioned, “Definitely, yes.”

Peskov didn’t say who among the many president’s contacts was contaminated, however that there have been a number of instances.

Russian authorities have been commonly criticised for underplaying the pandemic and for not often imposing measures to manage it whilst instances and deaths develop.

Russia’s dying toll is presently operating at its highest stage of the pandemic, with simply fewer than 800 fatalities a day. Nevertheless, few virus restrictions are presently in place.

Putin has appeared to work largely remotely and was not often seen in public for a interval earlier than he was vaccinated.

During Monday’s assembly with the Paralympians, Putin signalled that he was conscious of instances near him.

“Even in my circle problems occur with this COVID,” the Russian chief was quoted by the state RIA Novosti information company as saying. “We need to look into what’s really happening there. I think I may have to quarantine soon myself. A lot of people around [me] are sick.”

Peskov later mentioned Putin was talking “figuratively”.

Asked on Tuesday about why Putin proceeded with public occasions, Peskov mentioned that the choice to self-isolate was made after “doctors completed their testing, their procedures”.

Peskov mentioned with out explaining that “no one’s health was endangered” at Monday’s occasions.

Low vaccination charges

Russia’s each day coronavirus infections have fallen prior to now month from greater than 20,000 to about 17,000 — however consultants have known as into query how Russia is tallying instances and deaths.

Despite excessive caseloads, Russia has struggled to vaccinate its residents, and its charges lag behind many different nations.

As of Friday, solely 32 p.c of the inhabitants had acquired not less than one shot of a coronavirus vaccine, and solely 27 p.c had been absolutely vaccinated.

Putin has sometimes gone to excessive lengths to guard himself from an infection, regardless of the dearth of restrictions on the whole.

Peskov has confirmed media experiences that individuals who meet in-person with Putin or attend occasions with him should bear “rigorous testing” or quarantine forward of time.

Officials even arrange particular “disinfection tunnels” final yr at his residence and the Kremlin that anybody assembly Putin needed to stroll by means of. The guests have been sprayed with a disinfectant mist, though it isn’t clear how efficient that’s.

Putin additionally as soon as visited a hospital in a full hazmat swimsuit.

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