Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that dozens of people around him were suffering from Covid-19, forcing him to self-isolate, an illustration of Russia’s difficulties in stemming the epidemic.
“In my entourage (…) it is not one, not two, but several dozen people who have fallen ill with the coronavirus”, he said, during a meeting by videoconference at the Organization of the Collective Security Treaty, which holds a summit in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
At least 350,000 dead from coronavirus in Russia
Vladimir Poutine added that he would have to remain in solitary confinement “for several days”. He revealed on Tuesday that he had to isolate himself and cancel his participation in several summits after being in contact with a collaborator sick with Covid-19, saying he was counting on the Russian vaccine Sputnik V to escape the disease.
This announcement comes as the master of the Kremlin only recently resumed events in public. Until a few weeks ago, the overwhelming majority of his engagements were made by video and the few people who could meet him had to undergo a period of isolation.
Russia is one of the states in the world where the epidemic has claimed the most lives, and vaccination, amid mistrust of the authorities, is lagging behind. The country has been particularly bereaved by the Delta variant, which has been wreaking havoc since June. According to the statistics agency Rosstat, some 350,000 Russians had died of Covid-19 by the end of July 2021. According to a count from the Gogov site, only 27.5% of Russians had been fully vaccinated to date.