Russia’s foreign minister in self-isolation
Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov has gone into isolation after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus.
This news comes one day after Lavrov met with Greek officials in Athens, The Associated Press reports. While in Greece, Lavrov spoke with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and Alexis Tsipras, leader of the left-wing opposition party Coalition of the Radical Left.
At 70 years old, the longtime Russian diplomat is at a high risk of developing complications due to COVID-19, though several world leaders including President Trump, 74, have survived bouts with the virus.
In the announcement, Lavrov was said to be feeling well and no symptoms were reported. The person he came in contact with who tested positive was not identified.
The Russian diplomat is not the only government official to be affected by COVID-19. Ninety-one of Russia’s 450-person lower house of the legislative assembly have contracted the virus. Many of them have been hospitalized as a result.
On Tuesday, the Russian government announced a nationwide mask mandate in response to surging cases and a record 320 deaths in one day. Masks must be worn in public places and at gatherings of more than 50 people.
On Oct. 14, Russia reported over 14,000 new cases in a single day, setting a new record for the country. It currently has the fourth highest amount of cases with over 1.5 million confirmed so far.
Countries all across Europe have announced stricter mandates to stem the spread of COVID-19. Curfews were set up in Italy, France and Spain with shutdowns announced for businesses such as athletic facilities and cinemas. Protests have broken out in Italy, some led by far-right groups, to protest the closures.
Russia announced in September that it had produced a vaccine for the coronavirus, making it the first to register a vaccine worldwide. The Russian government announced plans to test it on 40,000 people.
Medical journal The Lancet reported that all participants in the initial trial had developed antibodies without serious symptoms, saying the vaccine “has a good safety profile and induced strong humoral and cellular immune responses in participants.” Further testing was recommended, however.