Moscow takes the coronavirus pandemic seriously

Moscow takes the coronavirus pandemic seriously

Moscow
deploys facial 

recognition technology for 

coronavirus quarantine





















BusinessInsider,

21
February, 2020

MOSCOW
(Reuters) – Moscow is using facial recognition technology to ensure
people ordered to remain at home or at their hotels under coronavirus
quarantine do so, the mayor of the Russian capital said on Friday.

Russia
has temporarily barred Chinese nationals from entering the country to
curb the spread of the virus, but has welcomed Russians who return
home with an order to spend two weeks at home, even in the absence of
symptoms.

Sergei
Sobyanin, the mayor of Moscow, said some 2,500 people who had landed
in the city from China had been ordered to go into quarantine. To
prevent them leaving their apartments, the authorities are using
facial recognition technology in the city to catch any offenders, he
said.

“Compliance
with the regime is constantly monitored, including with the help of
facial recognition systems and other technical measures,” he
wrote on his website.

In
one case described by Sobyanin, surveillance footage showed a woman
who had returned from China leaving her apartment and meeting friends
outside. The authorities were able to track down the taxi driver who
had taken her home from the airport thanks to video footage, Sobyanin
said.

Sobyanin
said the city was also forced to carry out raids against possible
carriers of the virus, something he said was “unpleasant but
necessary.”

The
Moscow mayor’s office did not immediately reply to a request for
comment.

Sobyanin
said last month that the city had begun using facial recognition as
part of its city security surveillance programme.

Kremlin
spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he had not seen details of the actions
being taken in Moscow but that measures to curb the spread of the
coronavirus should not be discriminatory.

The
clamp down on quarantine rules comes after a woman in St. Petersburg
staged an elaborate escape from a hospital where she said she was
being kept against her will.

The
incident, which resulted in a court ordering her to return to the
quarantine facility, raised questions about the robustness of
Russia’s coronavirus quarantine measures.

Russia
has reported two cases of the illness – two Chinese nationals who
have since recovered and been released from hospital, according to
the authorities.

(Reporting
by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; additional reporting by Anastasia
Teterevleva; Editing by Christina Fincher)

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