Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that he is confident the Sputnik V vaccine will protect him, after one of his close associates contracted the coronavirus covid-19, forcing the Russian president to isolate himself.
This announcement comes as Putin has recently returned to participate in events in public. Until a few weeks ago, the vast majority of their commitments were made by video, and the few people who could meet with the president had to undergo a period of isolation.
SIGHT: Putin goes into quarantine after detecting several cases of coronavirus in his environment
On Monday, Putin met with Syrian President Bashar al Asad and Russian athletes returning from the Tokyo Paralympic Games.
In a videoconference with executives of his United Russia party and his government, on the eve of the legislative elections, Putin confirmed that one of his collaborators, despite being vaccinated, had fallen ill with covid.
“He had been vaccinated again, but possibly too late. Three days after being vaccinated, he fell ill. The day before, I had communicated with him very closely ”, continued Putin.
“I hope that everything happens as it should, and that the Sputnik V really show your high level of protection against covid-19 “, said Putin, also vaccinated, and who claims to have a “high” level of antibodies.
Hours earlier, the Kremlin had announced that the 68-year-old president should isolate himself after the discovery of covid-19 cases in his environment.
“As a result of identified cases of coronavirus in his environment, Vladimir Putin must respect a regime of self-isolation for a certain period of time”the presidency specified in a statement.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov assured that Putin “is in perfect health” and that he underwent a diagnostic test for the virus, although without revealing its result.
“Isolation will not directly affect the work of the president,” He added, as the scheduled meetings were held by videoconference.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Russian authorities deployed a drastic device to prevent the president from being in contact with the virus.
According to the local press, the people who had to approach him – political officials, service personnel – had to spend 14 days in quarantine in hotels and regularly undergo diagnostic tests.
A disinfection spray space was also installed for visitors authorized to see it.
A country hit by the virus
Russia It 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 from covid-19 until the end of July 2021.
Despite the high availability of vaccines, health authorities are unable to control infections.
However, the number of infections has subsided after skyrocketing in August, but 17,837 new cases and 781 new deaths were still reported on Tuesday.
Authorities fail to convince a population skeptical of vaccines, and independent polls show that a majority of Russians do not want to inject themselves.
Only 39.9 million of the 146 million Russians are fully vaccinated, according to the Gogov website, which collects official data from the regions.
Russia has several vaccines of its own available to its population, and does not distribute any vaccines made in Western countries.
Moscow, the epicenter of the pandemic in the country, and other regions have introduced mandatory vaccination measures to speed up immunization and Putin has repeatedly called on his citizens to be immunized.
The Kremlin’s goal was to have 60% of the population protected in September, but it did not achieve its purpose despite having started vaccination in early December.
The Russian government has been accused of underestimating the effects of the pandemic and of having given up on introducing new restrictive measures after the severe lockdown decreed in 2020.
The authorities pinned their hopes of curbing the pandemic on the four vaccines designed there: Sputnik V, EpiVacCorona, CoviVac and the single-dose Sputnik Light.
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