Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday he would have to spend “a few days” in isolation after dozens of people around him fell ill with COVID-19, TASS news agency reported.
Putin was speaking via video link at a Russian-led security bloc summit in Tajikistan which he initially planned to attend in person.
It was not previously known how large the outbreak was and how long Putin would remain in isolation.
“It’s not just one person or two, there are dozens of people,” he said. “And now I have to stay in isolation for a few days.”
Putin, 68, received two injections of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V. He said this week that he is now personally testing its effectiveness.
The Kremlin said Putin was in good health. His spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said on Thursday that the president’s self-isolation could last at least a week and added that he was not aware that anyone was seriously ill in the Kremlin.
He said Putin had not yet decided whether he would attend a Group of 20 major economies summit at the end of next month in Rome.
The Kremlin had imposed tough measures designed to keep Putin away from anyone with COVID-19.
Visitors to the Kremlin have had to go through special disinfection tunnels, journalists attending its events have to undergo multiple PCR tests, and some people he meets are asked to pre-quarantine themselves and be tested for COVID. -19.
-From Reuters, last update 7:20 am ET
What’s happening across Canada
What is happening in the world
As of Thursday morning, more than 226.4 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus tracker. The death toll worldwide stood at over 4.6 million.
In the AmericasAlaska reported its highest number of new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, after the state’s largest hospital began rationing care due to an influx of COVID-19 patients. Authorities reported 1,068 new viral infections, 13% more than last week. State officials say 201 Alaskans are hospitalized with COVID-19, and 34 of them are on ventilators. Several US states are facing an increase in cases and strained health systems.
Chile, meanwhile, has announced plans to reopen its borders to visitors.
In Africa, Zimbabwe officials have told all government workers to get the COVID-19 vaccine or they will not be allowed to come to work. What would happen to those who refused to be vaccinated was not clear. State newspaper The Herald reported that the government would adopt a policy that unvaccinated workers would not be paid.
The government is Zimbabwe’s largest employer with around 500,000 workers.
Zimbabwe is one of the top African countries in terms of vaccination. More than 12% of the 15 million inhabitants of this southern African country are fully immunized. This compares to just 3.6% of the population on the continent, according to the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Zimbabwe has received more than 11 million doses, mainly the Chinese Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines. The country announced last month that it was opening up COVID-19 vaccination to children aged 14 to 17.
In the Middle East, Saudi Arabia on Wednesday reported seven more deaths and 88 more cases of COVID-19.
In the Asia Pacific region, several Asian countries are rapidly ramping up vaccination campaigns from precarious beginnings, as supplies deliveries arrive and people overcome hesitation in hopes of easing restrictions.
In Hong Kong, a group of health experts advising the government recommended that children between the ages of 12 and 17 receive only one dose of the BioNTech vaccine.
In Europe, Around 3,000 health workers unvaccinated against COVID-19 have been suspended in France, Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Thursday, a day after the country made vaccination compulsory for all health workers and outbreaks. care.
President Emmanuel Macron’s government imposed the rule to boost vaccination and help prevent a new wave of infections in the fall that could jeopardize France’s economic recovery.
“Most of the suspensions are only temporary … many of them have decided to be vaccinated because they see that the vaccination mandate is a reality,” Veran told French radio RTL.
-From The Associated Press, Reuters and CBC News, last updated 10:45 a.m.ET