Russian president Vladimir Putin has said that dozens of his staff have been infected with coronavirus and that he will continue his self-isolation because of the outbreak.
The Kremlin announced earlier this week that the president would self-isolate after someone in his inner circle was infected, although Mr Putin had tested negative for the virus and was fully immunised with Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine.
But Mr Putin said on Thursday that the infections were extensive.
“Cases of coronavirus have been identified in my immediate environment, and this is not one, not two, but several tens of people,” he said via video-link to a summit of the Russia-led Collective Treaty Security Organisation.
“Now we have to observe the self-isolation regime for several days.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that those infected were “mainly those who take part in ensuring the work and activities of the head of state, his security”.
None of the cases were severe, he added.
Although Russia was the first country to roll out a coronavirus vaccine, less than 30% of the country is fully vaccinated.
The national coronavirus task force said about 7.2 million infections had been recorded in the country of 145 million, with 195,835 deaths.