Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that dozens of his staff have been infected with the coronavirus and he’ll continue his self-isolation because of the outbreak.
The Kremlin announced this week Putin was self-isolating after someone in his inner circle was infected. The president tested negative for the coronavirus. He was previously fully vaccinated with Russia’s Sputnik V.
Putin said Thursday the infections were extensive and “now we have to observe the self-isolation regime for several days.”
He was speaking by video link to a summit of the Russia-led Collective Treaty Security Organization.
The Kremlin had imposed rigorous measures designed to keep Putin away from anyone with COVID-19.
Kremlin visitors have had to pass through special disinfection tunnels, journalists attending his events must undergo multiple PCR tests, and some people he meets are asked to quarantine beforehand and be tested for COVID-19.
Russia was the first country to roll out a coronavirus vaccine, but less than 30% of the country is fully vaccinated. The national coronavirus task force says there’s been about 7.2 million cases in the country of 145 million and 195,835 confirmed deaths.