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Moscow unveils coronavirus tracking app as national lockdown widens

By Reuters | April 1st 2020

Authorities in Moscow unveiled a smartphone app designed to keep tabs on people who have been ordered to stay at home because of the coronavirus and Russia on Wednesday expanded its lockdown to cover more of its sprawling territory.

Russia’s official tally of coronavirus cases rose to 2,777 on Wednesday, a one-day increase of 440. Twenty-four people have so far died, authorities say.

Moscow, the epicentre of Russia’s outbreak, announced a partial lockdown on Sunday. Residents have been told they can only leave their home to buy food or medicine nearby, get urgent medical treatment, walk the dog or empty their bins.

A Moscow city official said that authorities had developed a smartphone app for residents who have contracted the virus to download that would allow them to be monitored.

The app is still in testing, the official, Eduard Lysenko told the Ekho Moskvy radio station.

Moscow is also preparing to roll out a city-wide QR-code system where each resident that registers online will be assigned a unique code that they can show to police officers if stopped when going to the shop or the chemist, the official said.

Eight southern Russian regions rolled out similar lockdown measures to Moscow on Wednesday, meaning that more than 60 of Russia’s more than 80 regions are now in a state of partial lockdown.

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