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Russian city inside Arctic Circle to use ELECTRONIC TAGS to track coronavirus patients

Russian city inside Arctic Circle to use ELECTRONIC TAGS to track coronavirus patients
Like many countries, Russia is finding it hard to convince everyone to stay at home during this pandemic. Now one northern city has come up with a drastic solution, one normally more associated with prisoners on temporary release.

In Murmansk, just 108km from Russia’s border with Norway, local authorities have decided to spend 1,479,000 rubles ($20,000) on 120 electronic tracking bracelets to make sure infected patients don’t leave their homes. The tags will facilitate “remote monitoring of patient compliance,” enabling officials to see when the rules are being broken. The region’s eponymous capital is the largest city north of the Arctic Circle and the entire oblast (state) has a population of around 750,000, all living in an area larger than Greece or Bulgaria.

In a video posted early on April 15, Murmansk Governor Andrei Chibis announced that the region is due to see a “very significant growth in the number of cases,” and explained how electronic passes could be used “to minimize the movement of people without reason.” It was later announced that the number of cases in the Murmansk Region had essentially doubled, with 137 confirmed in one day, bringing the total to 265. Thus far, while it has recorded just one death, in terms of population size, the region has been disproportionately affected by the virus, compared to other parts of Russia.

Murmansk’s virus epicenter is a tiny village named Belokamenka, where 206 (77.7 percent) of the confirmed cases are located. According to ntv.ru, the settlement is base to a large construction site run by Russian organization Velesstroy, who are building large-capacity offshore structures for the company Novatek-Murmansk. Up to 11,000 shift workers live and work at the construction site, Moscow newspaper Novaya Gazeta reports. The permanent population of the village is just 84.

While it may be tougher to convince the healthy to stay indoors, you’d think those confirmed with the virus would be a little more conscientious. However, evidence from Moscow shows this appears not to be the case. Authorities in the capital have already collected fines in excess of a million rubles ($13,500), and at least 200 quarantine violators have been forcibly hospitalized.

Also on rt.com As restrictions spread across Europe, 69% of Muscovites willing to sacrifice rights to defeat coronavirus – poll

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