Coronavirus: Russian President Vladimir Putin says dozens of staff infected with COVID-19

MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin has revealed that “several tens of people” in his inner circle have tested positive for COVID-19.

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According to The Associated Press, Putin, 68, shared the news Thursday via video link during a summit of the Collective Treaty Security Organization.

“Cases of coronavirus have been identified in my immediate environment, and this is not one, not two, but several tens of people. Now, we have to observe the self-isolation regime for several days,” said Putin, who has been fully vaccinated with the Sputnik V vaccine since April.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov added that the cases, which were not serious, have occurred mostly among aides “who take part in ensuring the work and activities of the head of state, his security,” the AP reported.

The update came two days after the Kremlin announced Putin would be self-isolating after several contacts were infected with the coronavirus. At the time, Peskov said Putin tested negative for the illness and remains “absolutely healthy,” according to the AP. It wasn’t immediately clear how long Putin planned to isolate, the news agency reported.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Russia has reported more than 7.1 million coronavirus cases and 192,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. About 28% of the country’s population is fully vaccinated, The New York Times reported.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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