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Authorities in Moscow have begun issuing residents so-called “digital permits” in an effort to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic that has overwhelmed the city’s resources in recent weeks.
Some 8,000 people have already been issued digital permits to travel by car or public transportation, officials say. A formal launch of the system is slated for Wednesday.
Russian police officers, wearing face masks to protect from coronavirus, check documents of a man to ensure a self-isolation regime due to coronavirus, in Moscow, Russia. (AP)
The digital permits consist of a special code obtained by email or print sent to people after they indicate where they want to go, AFP reported.
The permits will last through the end of the month but will need to be renewed for each visit to a doctor. Police, city officials, any journalists, among other select groups are reportedly exempt.
Moscow, Russia’s most populated city, has been under lockdown since March 30. The expansion of tracking devices comes amid a surge of COVID-19 cases in recent weeks that has put a strain on the city's hospitals.
As of Monday, Russia has some 18,328 cases with 148 deaths, according to the latest figures from the Johns Hopkins University. The majority of cases and deaths are in Moscow.