Coronavirus: Russian President Vladimir Putin isolating after contacts test positive

MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin is isolating after several contacts were infected with COVID-19, multiple news outlets reported Tuesday.

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According to The Associated Press and The New York Times, the Kremlin revealed the news in a readout of a call between Putin and Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon, during which Putin “said that in connection with identified cases of the coronavirus in his environment, he must observe self-isolation for a certain period of time,” a statement read.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the 68-year-old Putin, who has been fully vaccinated with the Sputnik V vaccine since April, tested negative for the illness and remains “absolutely healthy,” the AP reported.

Peskov did not identify which members of Putin’s inner circle tested positive for the virus, nor did he specify the exact number of cases, according to the AP. It wasn’t immediately clear how long Putin planned to isolate, the news agency reported.

The announcement came one day after Putin greeted Paralympic athletes, met with Syrian President Bashar Assad and attended military exercises, according to the AP. At one point, he said he “may have to quarantine soon” and said a lot of people around him were sick, the agency reported. Peskov claimed that Putin’s appearances Monday did not put anyone else at risk.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Russia has reported more than 7 million coronavirus cases and 190,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. About 28% of the country’s population is fully vaccinated, the Times reported.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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