Putin to self-isolate in connection with COVID-19 cases

September 14, 2021
Russian President Vladimir Putin in this file photo.
Russian President Vladimir Putin in this file photo.

MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin will observe self-isolation for a certain period of time in connection with the COVID-19 cases detected in his entourage, the Kremlin said in a statement on Tuesday.

Although the Russian president was not sick, a Kremlin spokesperson told journalists, he would cease holding in-person meetings and would not travel to Dushanbe this week for summits of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and Collective Security Treaty Organization.

Putin last appeared in public on Monday afternoon. During a meeting with Russian Paralympic athletes.

He said: “Even in my circle there are problems with COVID ... I think that I may have to go into quarantine myself soon. A lot of people are sick [around me].”

On Monday evening, he had talks with the Syrian leader, Bashar al-Assad.

The Kremlin announced Putin’s self-isolation regime on Tuesday in a readout of a call with Emomali Rahmon, the president of Tajikistan.

“The president is absolutely healthy,” said Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesperson, adding that Putin had taken a PCR test and had a negative result.

“Of course we know who has fallen ill around the president. Isolation will not directly affect his work but there will be no in-person meetings for now.”

The Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, announced on Monday he would also skip the SCO meeting, which would have been the first major summit of regional leaders to discuss the situation in Afghanistan.

Russia experienced a new surge of coronavirus cases this summer after a vaccine drive failed to hit targets nationwide. The country is reporting nearly 18,000 new cases each day. Data released by Rosstat suggested nearly 64,000 excess deaths were recorded this July, as the Delta variant swept across the country. — Agencies

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