Though Russia thus far hasn’t been as hard hit as other large countries, with 17 now confirmed out of a population of 145 million — among those likely are some initially evacuated from the epicenter in Wuhan province, China — authorities are not taking any chances, enacting extreme measures to prevent the spread.
The city government of Moscow has as of Sunday imposed a “high alert regime” of mandatory self-quarantine for those that have recently visited foreign countries with an infected population. The penalty for such designated citizens if they leave their homes and break the quarantine is up to five years in jail, Moscow city hall has threatened.
Authorities are reportedly even going so far as to set up closed circuit TV cameras in places of self-isolation in order to monitor conformity.
Over the two-day period of last Friday through Saturday Russian health authorities announced a total of ten new cases, taking the total number to 17, three of whom have now reportedly recovered. Most of the recent cases had traveled in Italy. Currently there are hundreds if not thousands across the country who have been ordered into quarantine.
So far there’s nothing to suggest city authorities have actually as yet handed down any legal or jail penalties related to the coronavirus crisis, or if they would follow through with it should someone break self-quarantine. Last month, however, 88 foreign nationals were deported over breaking quarantine protocols.
Return visitors from highly impacted countries will be especially monitored, Reuters reports:
Those who return from China, South Korea, Iran, France, Germany, Italy and Spain and other states showing possible “unfavorable” signs of coronavirus should self-isolate themselves at home for 14 days, Moscow city hall has said.
The Moscow healthcare department said on Sunday that those disregarding the regulation risked severe punishment including imprisonment of up to five years.
According to the Moscow Times authorities have even lately utilized facial recognition software to keep track of quarantined persons or suspected cases.
Last week Mayor Sergei Sobyanin initiated random screenings of Moscow Metro passengers’ temperatures at station entrances.
Given Russian numbers of infected have not jumped at exponential rates as they have in places like Iran and Italy, it appears the early response measures are working in terms of mitigating the virus’ impact across Russia.