A major flu outbreak has hit Kremlin and could force Russian President Vladimir Putin into isolation in a bunker, a report in Metro said. The development comes a day after officials announced that Mr Putin will not hold his annual end-of-year press conference this year. Since Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov gave no reason or the break with tradition, several outlets are claiming that it has been done due to health issues Mr Putin is facing. After Russia launched its offensive against Ukraine in February this year, there has been a renewed focus on Mr Putin’s health.
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According to Russian news agency TASS, the H1N1 flu strain will hit Russia hard this year, quoting Head of the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing Anna Popova.
“Yes, this year, flu came to stay. The most unpleasant thing in this situation that it is precisely the flu variant which causes the most serious damage to health. This is the flu A virus (H1N1) of the pandemic year of 2009. In 2009, it emerged for the first time as a type of flu with high spread potential and triggered the 2009-2020 pandemic,” she said in an interview with the Rossiya-1 TV channel.
Metro said Russian officials are keeping the President away from people in the wake of the spread of this infectious disease. It added that Mr Putin is expected to abandon his address to the Upper House of Russian Parliament as many officials are affected by flu.
The General SVR Telegram channel, which frequently posts updates on the Russia-Ukraine war, claimed that Mr Putin will spend the New Year in a bunker in east of the Ural Mountains with his rumoured girlfriend Alina Kabaeva.
Ms Popova, meanwhile, urged the people of Russia to follow preventive measures that include masks, clean hands, face and gadgets as well as clear respiratory passages.
She also recommended people to stay at home in case they develop any of the symptoms.
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