Russia using facial recognition technology to track coronavirus quarantine

Russia using facial recognition technology to track coronavirus quarantine
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The mayor of Moscow said the city is using facial recognition technology to monitor potentially infected patients who are under quarantine and ensure they do not leave their quarters, according to a Reuters report.

Since the outbreak of coronavirus became a global threat for travelers, Russia has temporarily suspended Chinese nationals from entering the nation, while Russian citizens are allowed to return under the order but must spend two weeks at home, regardless of if they showed symptoms of the virus, according to the report.

Sergei Sobyanin, the mayor of Moscow, announced on Friday that around 2,500 people who flew to the city from China are under strict order to go into quarantine. The government's preventative method is using facial recognition to identify any potential carriers of the disease if they are found outside their designated quarantine zones.

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"Compliance with the regime is constantly monitored, including with the help of facial recognition systems and other technical measures," the mayor wrote on his website.

Sobyanin confirmed surveillance footage stopped one woman who had returned from China from leaving her apartment in Moscow to meet with friends. Through facial recognition, authorities tracked down the taxi driver who drove her home from the airport, the report said.

Utilizing facial recognition software is only a recent addition to the government's security monitoring program. Authorities are also authorized to engage in raids against possible carriers of the virus, a process Sobyanin said was "unpleasant but necessary."

The boost in surveillance protocol comes around the same time that a woman in St. Petersburg escaped from a hospital where she was being examined, for fear that she came in contact with the virus.

So far, the government confirmed that two cases of the coronavirus were discovered in Chinese nationals visiting Russia. However, they have since recovered and are released from their hospital quarantine, the report said.