Russian leader, Vladimir Putin, is in isolation after dozens of his inner circle tested positive for the coronavirus.
“Earlier this week, 68-year-old Putin canceled all in-person events and said he was self-isolating after announcing an outbreak in the Kremlin” The Moscow Times reported.
Putin, speaking via video link at a meeting of a Moscow-led security alliance said, “Cases of the coronavirus were detected in my inner circle. Not just one or two but several dozen people.”
Putin was scheduled to attend a meeting of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in Tajikistan’s capital of Dunshande in person but said Tuesday that he would join remotely instead.
According to Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, the outbreak is mainly among members of Putin’s security detail. Peskov said that “practically everybody” who works with Putin is vaccinated.
It is not known how long Putin will be in quarantine but his spokesman said that he will be self-isolating for “at least” another week,
Putin was inoculated, since the start of the pandemic with Russia’s homegrown Sputnik V vaccine and foreign leaders, journalists and officials have had to self-isolate prior to meeting with the Russian leader.
To date, Russia has experienced over 7.2 million cases of the coronavirus with 195,835 Russians losing their lives to the disease, the highest death toll in Europe, according to www.worldometers.info.
While the country recently experienced a slump in infections 19,594 new cases were detected on Thursday with an additional 794 deaths.
Currently, approximately 40.2 million of Russia’s 146 million people have been fully vaccinated with the Sputnik V vaccine which has been approved for use in dozens of countries, including European nations but has yet to gain approval from the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as Western regulators.
Moscow is the epicenter of Russia’s outbreak and has introduced mandatory vaccination measures to speed up an inoculation drive that the nation sees as its only path through the pandemic.
“The Kremlin initially set a goal of fully inoculating 60% of Russia’s population by September, but later dropped that target even though free jabs have been available since early December.” The Moscow Times reported.