Putin self-isolating 'for a few days' after dozens of his entourage catch COVID

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Vladimir Putin has said he will spend "a few days" in isolation after dozens of people in his entourage caught coronavirus, according to Russia's TASS news agency.

News of the outbreak among the president's inner circle emerged earlier this week but the Kremlin said the president had tested negative and was "absolutely healthy".

However, it was previously unclear how big the outbreak was and how long the president would isolate for.

Mr Putin revealed more details as he spoke via video to a security summit in Tajikistan.

"This is not just one person or two people, there are dozens of people," he said.

"And now I have to remain in self-isolation for a few days."

Mr Putin, who is fully vaccinated with Russia's Sputnik V vaccine, had several public engagements on Monday.

He awarded medals to Russian Paralympians, met Syria's President Assad and attended military exercises with other officials.

The 68-year-old said one of those infected was a staff member who he had close contact with this week.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has previously confirmed reports that people who meet Mr Putin or attend events with him have to have "rigorous testing" or quarantine beforehand.

There were even "disinfection tunnels" installed at the Kremlin last year that anyone meeting him had to go through.

The president has rarely been seen with a mask and COVID-19 deaths in Russia have recently been their highest of the pandemic, at just under 800 per day, even as daily infections have dropped slightly in the past month.

There are few coronavirus restrictions in place in Russia - despite less than a third of people being fully vaccinated.

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