Moscow | On Tuesday, the Russian president revealed that he had to go into isolation and cancel his participation in several summits after contacting a collaborator who was sick with the Covid-19 virus, saying that he was relying on the Sputnik vaccine in order to escape from the disease.
The announcement comes as a Kremlin master who only recently resumed events in public. Until a few weeks ago, the vast majority of his engagements were by video link and the few people who could meet him had to undergo a period of isolation.
He received Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Moscow on Monday.
Putin, who appeared on television in a video meeting with leaders of the ruling United Russia party ahead of legislative elections scheduled for this week, confirmed that one of his aides, despite being vaccinated, had contracted Covid disease.
“He was revaccinated, but it is clearly too late. Three days after the vaccination, he fell ill. The day before, I had been in close contact with him all day,” Mr. Putin continued.
“I hope that everything goes as it should, and that Sputnik V really shows a high level of protection against COVID-19,” said Putin, who was vaccinated himself in March. He said he had an “high” level of antibodies.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Kremlin announced “cases of coronavirus in the entourage” of Vladimir Putin, forcing him to adhere to a “system of self-isolation for a certain period”.
Asked if the 68-year-old Russian president had taken the test and the result was negative, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov replied: “Sure, yes. The president is in good health.”
He added that “isolation will not directly affect the president’s work,” and that the meetings will be held via video link.
Therefore, the Russian head of state will not personally participate on Thursday and Friday in two regional summits in Tajikistan, the Summit of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (OTSC) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
Russia is one of the countries in the world where the epidemic has claimed the largest number of lives, and vaccination, amid the distrust of the authorities, is lagging behind. The country has been particularly bereavement due to the delta variant, which has been wreaking havoc since June.
According to the statistics agency Rosstat, about 350,000 Russians had died of COVID-19 by the end of July 2021. According to Gogov’s statistic, only 27.3% of Russians have been fully vaccinated so far.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russian authorities have deployed a strict device aimed at preventing the Kremlin master from contacting the virus.
And so she told Russian media that the people who were likely to come in contact with him – political officials but also service personnel – had until recently had to spend 14 days in hotel quarantine and have regular checks.
An airlock disinfection system has also been installed that sprays products to authorized visitors.
Mr. Putin has recently resumed his trips to Russia and meets in public, most of the time working by video, and meetings broadcast daily on television.
But on Monday he met face-to-face with the Paralympic athletes returning from Tokyo.
According to photos from RIA Novosti, it was then considered possible that he would soon have to isolate himself, but the Kremlin spokesman immediately confirmed that the president was speaking “in a figurative sense”.
At the beginning of the epidemic, in March 2020, Vladimir Putin was in close contact, without a mask, with the chief physician of one of the main hospitals treating patients with coronavirus. Dr. Denis Protsenko announced, shortly after Covid reached him.
Several senior Russian officials have fallen ill, including Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, and several ministers.
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