To track the coronavirus, Russia is tracking faces.
Moscow is using facial recognition technology and “unpleasant” police raids to enforce a coronavirus quarantine on thousands of people who have traveled there from China, according to the city’s mayor.
About 2,500 people who have entered the city from China were screened at the airport and ordered to undergo a two-week quarantine — even if they were not showing symptoms. Their compliance has been tracked by CCTV cameras to make sure they’re abiding by the mandate, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin wrote on his website.
“In practice, this means that any person arriving from China must not leave their home or hotel for two weeks,” Sobyanin said. “About 2,500 two-week isolation orders have been issued to date.”
“Automated facial-recognition systems and other technology will constantly monitor compliance with the [quarantine],” he added.
Law enforcement agents and medical professionals are also executing “unpleasant but necessary” raids in hotels, apartments and dormitories where Chinese nationals are believed to be staying, the mayor added.
The crackdown was detailed as Russia banned most Chinese citizens from entering the country through a partial shutdown of its border.
So far three Russian nationals have contracted the virus — each a passenger on the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship, according to the Moscow Times. No cases have been documented in the capital, Sobyanin said.
Sobyanin added that the raids were being conducted to identify those who have traveled to Russia from China before the scanning measures were put in place.
“Conducting raids is an unpleasant challenge, but they are necessary for, among others, the potential virus carriers themselves,” Sobyanin went on.
He did not outline what penalties, if any, were in place for those caught violating the quarantine.
More than 75,400 cases of the coronavirus have been documented in China, along with another 2,200 related deaths in the country, according to health officials.
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