The Russian capital is strengthening containment control while its medical services are on the brink of rupture, say city authorities.
The city of Moscow, whose health services are overloaded, launched Monday an electronic pass system strengthening the control of confinement in the Russian capital, epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic in the country.
The system is launched as the number of new infections in Russia breaks records with 2,558 new cases recorded on Monday, bringing the official total to 18,328 patients and 148 deaths, the majority in Moscow.
This pass can be obtained via an online request on the town hall website and is compulsory for trips by car or public transport to go, for example, to work, to the doctor or to his country house. Muscovites will have to present it at police checks or face fines.
They can still move freely on foot to go to the supermarket or walk their dog. But the town hall warned that if necessary it would extend the system also to these pedestrian trips in its neighborhood.
Municipal employees, soldiers, judges, lawyers, notaries and journalists are exempt from this system for their business trips.
The issuance of passes began on Monday for full service Wednesday April 15. More than 800,000 were issued on the first day, despite cyber attacks aimed at disrupting the operation of the website, according to the authorities.
This measure was announced Friday, April 10, in a televised address, by the mayor of Moscow Sergei Sobianin, like the stop of work of practically all the nonessential companies.
Sobianin reported a situation that ” got worse” last week and said he expected weeks to come “difficult” .
His assistant Anastasia Rakova had for his part announced that the Moscow medical services were on the verge of rupture in this city of 12 million inhabitants, where the ordered confinement is not always strictly respected.
The Russian search engine Yandex has collected geolocation data, according to which after two weeks the order of confinement is less respected.
Data from mobile operators show that 3.5 million Muscovites spent more than 6 hours outside on April 10, said a city hall statement cited by Bloomberg . On Saturday April 11, 1,358 breaches of confinement were recorded, according to the town hall.
President Vladimir Putin has decreed for all of Russia a full month of paid vacation in April for employees who can no longer exercise their professional activity due to confinement.