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21 Feb, 2020 15:00

Russia has already self-quarantined 2,500 people to prevent spread of KILLER coronavirus infection - Moscow mayor

Russia has already self-quarantined 2,500 people to prevent spread of KILLER coronavirus infection - Moscow mayor

Despite its 4,000km border with China, Russia currently has no live reported domestic cases of the pathogen which has sent its neighbor into lock-down. Authorities clearly want to try and keep it that way.

Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin announced on Friday that over 2,500 people have already been ordered into quarantine due to the risk of the Covid-19 coronavirus. He also explained on his blog that all arrivals from China will have to undergo a physical and take a test for the infection. They then must isolate themselves. He added that if tests at the airport detect a temperature or other symptoms, the person would be immediately sent to a hospital.

“In practice, this means that anyone who arrives from China should not leave their home or hotel for two weeks,” the mayor said. “Compliance [with the quarantine order] is continuously monitored, including through the automated face recognition system and other technical measures.” Many CCTV cameras throughout the Russian capital are equipped with facial recognition technology designed to enable authorities to find wanted criminals.

The mayor also detailed another task for authorities – to identify those who arrived from China prior to the introduction of the escalated border controls. “To this end, police and doctors have carried out raids on places of their possible residence,” he said, calling it an “unpleasant” but “necessary” task.

Also on rt.com Russia temporarily bans most Chinese visitors amid coronavirus epidemic

Sobyanin named hotels, hostels, and private apartments as examples of places raided so far. Arrivals from China will also be monitored by employees of the Moscow Metro and Mosgortrans (Moscow City Transit Authority), in conjunction with police and paramedics.

Sobyanin explained that the city had ramped up its efforts to keep public areas clean and disinfected. Places with a mass concentration of people, such as sporting and entertainment facilities, are to be cleaned more thoroughly, as well as various modes of public transport, including taxis and car-sharing.

The vast majority of Chinese citizens have been banned from Russia since February 20, excluding those with official, business, humanitarian, or transit visas.

Although there are over 76,000 Covid-19 cases worldwide, Russia currently has zero confirmed cases. Two previously infected people, both Chinese citizens, have been discharged after getting the all-clear. Elsewhere, three Russian nationals have tested positive for the virus on the British cruise liner Diamond Princess.