Russian President Vladimir Putin revealed on Thursday that dozens of people around him were infected with covid-19, which forced him to isolate himself since the beginning of the week, in a fact that demonstrates the country’s problems to control the epidemic.
“In my environment … there is not one, not two, but several dozen people who have fallen ill with the coronavirus,” Putin said, during a videoconference meeting of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a regional military alliance.
“I had to cancel my visit to Dushanbe at the last minute, I am very sorry,” he added.
Putin, 68 years old and vaccinated since March with the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, declared that he must remain in isolation for “several days” more as a result of this unprecedented outbreak since the beginning of the pandemic in his close circle.
On Tuesday, he revealed that he had to isolate himself after having been in “very close contact” with only one of his collaborators, vaccinated but ill.
“I hope that everything happens as it should, and that Sputnik V really demonstrates its high level of protection against covid-19,” Putin said at the time.
The announcement came after Putin had recently returned to participate in public events. Until a few weeks ago, the vast majority of his commitments were carried out by video, and the few people who could meet him had to undergo a period of isolation.
Before announcing your isolation, Putin received Siri Chairman in Moscow on MondayBashar al Asad, and several Paralympic athletes back from Tokyo.
The irruption of the covid in the environment of the president shows the difficulties of Moscow to fight effectively against the epidemic, between a vaccination that does not progress and the very random respect of the rules of social distancing and the use of a mask.
The epidemiological situation in Russia
Russia is among the countries most affected by the coronavirus pandemic in terms of fatalities and in fifth position in terms of the number of infected, according to the AFP balance.
According to the statistics agency Rosstat, about 350,000 Russians died of covid-19 until the end of July 2021.
According to the Gogov website, which collects official data from the regions, only 27.5% of Russians are fully vaccinated.
Initially, the Russian government, which has four national vaccines, had set a goal to have 60% of the population vaccinated by September.
Following strict confinement in April and May 2020, during the first wave of the pandemic, the Russian authorities refused to apply new restrictive measures to preserve the country’s fragile economy.
Putin’s isolation takes place before the holding of legislative elections, spread over three days – from Friday to Sunday – to limit the risks of contagion in the voting centers.