As per reports, thousands of residents of Moscow have been confined to their homes for 14 days of compulsory quarantine after returning from virus-hit countries. Even those that have come in contact with those infected or those diagnosed with mild symptoms have been forced into quarantine. The authorities have warned them that breaking quarantine to enter the city of 16 million residents could warrant a five-year jail term or deportation for foreigners. Moscow is using cameras with facial recognition to keep track of all of them.
According to reports, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin last month wrote in his blog that the enforcement of quarantine was being closely monitored. Moscow already has a network of 170,000 security cameras, set up in streets and metro stations throughout the city over the past decade. Almost 1,00,000 of them have been linked to an artificial intelligence system that can identify people being filmed.
According to reports, the Moscow police have been able to identify around 200 people that broke quarantine thanks to the cameras. In addition to the cameras, Russia said that it was drawing on an array of technology to fight the virus, including telemedicine consultations, the real-time monitoring of supermarket shelves and identifying and removing false news stories from social media. Russia has reported 444 coronavirus cases and only one death. 20 people in Russia have already recovered from the virus.
Amidst the Coronavirus outbreak, a series of fake news pertaining to the pandemic has been circulating on the internet. Recently, a news piece that Russian President Vladimir Putin has unleashed 500 lions on the streets of Russia to force people to stay at home went viral online. Many social media users spread the news that Vladimir Putin unleashed lions on the streets to keep the people isolated and confined to their homes. Social media users were seen forwarding the post without checking its authenticity.
When in reality, Russia did not unleash lions on the street to ensure that people adhere to lockdown and quarantine protocols, despite what various social media users and fake news outlets peddled. The pictures that were widely circulated on social media is of a lion in South Africa. The picture is from back in the year 2016 when the lion was seen strolling the streets in the middle of the night. The lion was borrowed from a nearby lion park for filming purposes.