Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin has tested negative for coronavirus and is “absolutely healthy.”
Peskov told journalists in a conference call that as “several people” in Putin’s entourage got sick with Covid-19 the President “must take a responsible position and not endanger the health of his colleagues.” The spokesman did not specify who has tested positive.
Asked why Putin met with Assad if there were concerns about his exposure to people who tested positive, Peskov said the event took place before the decision to quarantine was made.
When pressed on the matter by journalists who brought up the fact Putin told Russian athletes on Monday there were people sick with coronavirus around him, Peskov reiterated there was “nothing illogical” about Putin’s schedule.
“First, I can say that Putin did not meet with Assad at the end of the day, it was at the beginning of the working day. And everything else, as the doctors completed their studies and the necessary procedures … a decision was made. There is nothing illogical here. At that time [when the meetings happened], doctors were still doing their tests,” Peskov said.
“Nobody’s health was endangered,” he added.
The Russian President acknowledged the existence of “identified cases of coronavirus in his environment,” according to a Kremlin statement.
Putin also referred to the situation on a call on Tuesday with his Republic of Tajikistan counterpart, Emomali Rahmon, adding that he would have to quarantine for “a certain period of time” as a consequence.
The Kremlin statement said that Putin’s scheduled appointments for the ongoing week will now be attended via videoconference.
“Isolation does not directly affect the work of the President. But there will be no face-to-face events for some time,” Peskov added.