Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, gave authorities five days (on Monday), to develop a system to track people who come into contact with those infected with Coronavirus, using geolocation data on their mobile phones.
The system will send information to people if they have come into contact with anyone that has the virus and that same information will also be passed down to special regional headquarters that are set up specifically to fight the pandemic. The Kremlin stated that these steps are being taken in order to halt the spread of the virus, and are completely legal.
The new system to track Coronavirus will track citizens who are in contact with people with new cases of infection, on the premise of information from cellular operators using the geolocation of a specific person. Citizens will also receive Coronavirus-related messages and will be notified over the phone if they have been in contact with a person recently infected. They will also be prompted to self-isolate.
Russia has temporarily banned the entry of all foreigners, in order to limit the spread of the Coronavirus. As of today, Russia has 1036 confirmed cases, and four virus-related deaths. As such, Russia is stepping-up quarantine efforts, and is preparing its healthcare system for more cases.
Mayor Sergey Sobyanin, stated that residents older than 65 and people with chronic illness should remain at home. He also informed the elderly and other vulnerable residents, to only visit supermarkets and pharmacies if absolutely necessary – until April 14th. He also advised that the elderly leave the city (if they can) to stay in more remote locations, to reduce their exposure to other infected people.
The city will also be giving 49$ (4,000 rubles) to citizens over the age of 65 and people with chronic illnesses. City Hall has requested that mobile phone operators do not switch off network and internet access for the elderly if their balance reaches zero and to temporarily cancel fines for the late payment of bills. Moscow has implemented changes in its Coronavirus testing system. Samples will no longer be sent to a lab in Siberia for an additional round of testing. The government has also asked the Ministry of Agriculture to limit food exports. The government ordered the Justice and Labor Ministries to implement plans that prevent workers from being fired for Coronavirus-related reasons. Russia’s Emergency Ministry claimed that it had stopped non-essential foreign business trips and advised its employees against leaving the country.