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Putin to Self-Isolate, Virus Cases in Inner Circle

Αssociated Press

FILE - In this photo Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks to NBC News journalist Keir Simmons, back to a camera, in an interview aired on Monday, June 14, 2021, two days before the Russian leader is to meet U.S. President Joe Biden in Geneva. (Maxim Blinov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)

MOSCOW — The Kremlin says Russian President Vladimir Putin is going into self-isolation because of coronavirus cases among his inner circle.

The announcement came Tuesday in the Kremlin’s readout of Putin’s phone call with Tajikistan’s president. Putin has been fully vaccinated with the Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V. He received his second shot in April.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says Putin is “absolutely healthy,” but will self-isolate after contact with someone who contracted the coronavirus.

He says Putin tested negative for the coronavirus and will continue working. He didn’t clarify how long Putin will remain in self-isolation.

Russia’s daily coronavirus cases in recent weeks have plateaued around 17,000-18,000, with the daily death toll near 800, the highest level in the pandemic. However, few virus restrictions are currently in place in Russia.

Russia’s state coronavirus task force has reported a total of 7.1 million confirmed coronavirus cases and 194,249 confirmed deaths.