Vladimir Putin, 69, says he did not contract Covid while he coughed throughout a public meeting broadcast live on state television. Mr Putin, who has been Russian president for more than 20 years, then held a meeting with national security officials in which he insisted that he regularly test for various diseases, including the coronavirus.
“Don’t worry, everything is fine,” he said.
“They’re testing pretty much daily not just for COVID-19 but for all other infections and everything is fine. “
The Star reports that Moscow Chamber Speaker Valentina Matviyenko, who was elected the Russian Federation‘s first female president in 2012, appeared particularly concerned about her longtime ally’s coughing fit.
“Everyone was worried,” she said.
The Russian president quickly intervened after Ms Matviyenko expressed her concern, saying: “I was in the fresh air and moving actively, but nothing terrible is happening.”
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“I know you are all vaccinated and don’t forget to revaccinate yourself,” he added.
This is not the first time that concerns about Putin’s health have been raised.
In November 2020, it was even claimed that a Kremlin-funded television network suppressed the Russian president’s worst coughing fit in another appearance at a televised meeting.
There are rumors that Mr Putin could have Parkinson’s disease and this could lead him to resign in the near future.
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The World Health Organization has not approved Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, and Putin’s administration has banned foreign-made doses.
According to Euronews, this has led many Russians to flock to the former Soviet satellite state of Serbia in an attempt to access Western-made jabs.