Russian President Vladimir Putin was forced into self-isolation after several members of his inner circle tested positive for the coronavirus, the Kremlin reported, adding that the president himself was later tested for the infection, which was found to be negative.
The Eastern European politician is fully vaccinated with Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine. He held many public engagements indoors on Monday, where he announced that he would soon be undergoing quarantine. At the time, one of his aides said that Putin was speaking generally and reassured on Tuesday that none of the officials' health was in danger.
Russian President Exposed to COVID-19
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said during a daily conference call with reporters that the 68-year-old Putin's health was in good condition. However, he said that the president came into close contact with people who were infected with the virus. When the spokesman was asked if Putin tested negative for the infection, Peskov said, "Definitely, yes."
Despite his statements, Peskov did not detail when the president began his self-isolation, when he was tested negative, how long he planned to be quarantined, or who among his inner circle were the infected individuals. During a video conference with government officials, the Russian president said that several individuals in his "immediate circle" were found to be infected with the coronavirus, the Associated Press reported.
Putin said that one of the infected individuals was vaccinated previously and recently "revaccinated", which is used to denote a third shot of the vaccine. "Three days after revaccination he fell ill. We will see how Sputnik V really works," the Russian president said.
The Eastern European president called the situation an experiment to determine the efficacy of the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine. Putin claimed that his antibodies against the infection were high and said he hoped everything worked out as he expected it to be due to the studies done to manufacture the vaccine.
Before the announcement, Putin met face-to-face with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to meet with several Russian Paralympians. The two leaders also inspected troops that took part in Russian military exercises in Nizhny Novgorod, CNN reported.
Coronavirus Crisis in Russia
Peskov said that the government was not yet aware of Putin's exposure to the infected individual prior to his meeting with President Assad. When questioned about the fact that Putin told Paralympians he was in close contact with infected people, Peskov reiterated that there was nothing unusual about the Russian president's schedule.
The spokesman said that Putin met with Assad at the beginning of the day and not at the end. Peskov added that a decision was made after doctors concluded their tests and necessary procedures.
The situation comes as the country grapples to contain the coronavirus infection after reporting 17,837 new COVID-19 cases and 781 fatalities. This is in spite of the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine having a recorded 78.6% efficacy against the infection, 87.6% efficacy in preventing hospitalizations, and 84.8% in preventing coronavirus-related deaths. The rates were the result of a study that reviewed Argentine vaccinations published in The Lancelot on Monday, The Moscow Times reported.